Gardaí to prepare DPP file on councillor

Sat, May 26, 2012, 01:00

GARDAÍ ARE to prepare a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions after arresting and questioning a town councillor in Co Cork over the alleged fraudulent claiming of expenses for attending a conference earlier this year.

Detectives arrested the man at his home in Co Cork on Tuesday morning and brought him to Bandon Garda station for questioning about his claim for expenses for attending a conference on the reform of the water sector in Ireland in April.

The man was arrested under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act for a suspected offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act but was released several hours later without charge and a file on the matter will now be prepared for the DPP.

It is understood that gardaí were acting on receipt of a complaint by a concerned citizen after the man read comments by the councillor in a local newspaper about his attendance at the conference when he had seen the councillor around his home town the same weekend.

Gardaí began an investigation and confirmed that the councillor had signed in at the conference in Galway on April 13th and claimed expenses for both April 13th and April 14th, but they obtained CCTV footage showing him back in his home town early on the morning of April 14th.

It is understood that the sum in question is over €500, of which the councillor could legitimately claim some €300 for travelling to and from Galway, leaving the balance of over €200 at the centre of the alleged fraudulent expenses claim.