A county councillor has lost his High Court bid aimed at preventing an ethics inquiry being conducted over comments he made while being secretly filmed by RTÉ’s Primetime Programme.
The action was brought by Monaghan County Councillor Hugh McElvaney, who is the subject of Standards in Public Office (SiPO) Commission investigation into whether he breached ethics when he was one of the subjects of an RTÉ Investigates programme Standard in Public Office, aired in 2015.
In it, an undercover researcher, using the name “Nina Carlson”, posed as a representative of a foreign investment firm looking for their support for a fictitious wind farm development.
Cllr McElveaney brought High Court judicial review proceedings last year claiming that SiPO, which has already held a preliminary inquiry into the matter, should be stopped in its entirety.
In his judgement, Mr Justice Garrett Simons said he was satisfied “to dismiss the application in its entirety”.
The decision clears the way for the SiPO inquiry, which had been on hold pending the outcome of the High Court case, to proceed.
The investigation arose following a complaint made to the commission that the councillor had contravened provisions of the 2001 Local Government and the Code of Conduct for Councillors.
In his action, the former Fine Gael, now independent Cllr McElvaney had argued that he was entrapped by the RTÉ reporter, who would not be available for cross-examination at the hearing of the investigation and that the inquiry was inadequate.
SiPO had opposed the application.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding