RCT Councillor under investigation.
The South Wales Echo today reports that Labour Councillor Bob McDonald who represents the Tonyrefail East ward is under investigation for as yet unrevealed breaches of the code of conduct.
At the recent RCT Council meeting there was a late report announcing that Cllr McDonald was stepping down as Chair of the planning committee and indeed resigning from that committee altogether. The brief report said it was for "personal reasons."
It now seems that those reasons may possibly have been less personal and more connected with the on-going investigation.
The Echo report has Cllr McDonald confirming that there is an investigation but declining to comment further. A Council spokesperson said that they were not aware of the outcome of any investigation and any questions would have to be referred to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman's office made a testament which confirmed that a complaint had been received and that an initial assessment had found it worth further investigation.
It is not known what the allegations are or the level of seriousness of them. The majority of complaints are dismissed at the first stage without further consideration. This is not the case here. If the Ombudsman decides that there is enough evidence of a breach of the code of conduct he will send a formal report either to the Council's standards committee or, if it is more serious, to the Adjudication Panel for Wales. That body will then decide if the code of conduct has been broken and, if so, what penalty to impose.
The maximum penalty that a standards committee can apply is suspension for six months whist the Adjudication Panel can disqualify a member from office for up to five years.