Standards in Public Office Commission to investigate Limerick councillor’s expense claims

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

COUNCILLOR Pat Kennedy is to face an investigation by an ethics watchdog after he claimed €1,700 mileage while his car was off the road.

COUNCILLOR Pat Kennedy is to face an investigation by an ethics watchdog after he claimed €1,700 mileage while his car was off the road.

And the city south councillor could face further sanctions from a Fine Gael party eager to instil discipline.

Limerick City Council has referred a report on Cllr Kennedy’s expense claims to the Standards in Public Office Commission, which has wide investigatory powers in relation to the ethics of councillors.

The former senator - first elected to City Hall in 1967 - had claimed €1,690 travelling to five conferences in Sligo, Dundalk, Dublin and Limerick Junction. He was asked to refund the money after it emerged the car Cllr Kennedy was claiming on was off the road at the time.

Last week, it emerged Cllr Kennedy had repaid a further €2,600 in claims to a variety of publicly-funded bodies, including the Local Authority Members Association and the Association of City and County Councils for the same reason.

Among other things, the Standards in Public Office Commission investigates alleged contraventions of the ethical framework of the Local Government Act. A report containing a variety of recommendations is then made available.

City Hall’s ethics registrar has also been made aware of the report, which came about after an individual from Cork made an independent complaint against Cllr Kennedy under Part 15 of the Local Government Act