Longford council chief to face public hearing into alleged ethics breach

Standards in Public Office Commission has called Tim Caffrey to appear before it next week

Tim Caffrey: claims he declared his interest in the property before the council applied for the grant and that he had no direct involvement in the grant process. Photograph: Willie Farrell.

Tim Caffrey: claims he declared his interest in the property before the council applied for the grant and that he had no direct involvement in the grant process. Photograph: Willie Farrell.

 

The chief executive of Longford County Council is to face a public hearing into an alleged breach of ethics. The Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) has called Tim Caffrey to appear before it next week. The hearing will centre on claims that Mr Caffrey failed to disclose in writing that he owned a property which was bought with funds from the Department of the Environment.

In a statement, the commission said this was an alleged contravention of the Ethical Framework for the Local Government Service. The investigation began in November 2013 and centred on claims that Longford County Council was approved a grant from the Department of the Environment to buy a home in Clondra, Co Longford. The grant of €250,000 was to be given to the voluntary housing body, the Muiríosa Foundation, to buy the property.

Mr Caffrey has claimed he declared his interest in the property before the council applied for the grant. He has also said he had no direct involvement in the grant process. Once the allegations were made, the money was returned to the department and an investigation was launched.

The hearing will be held at the Sipo offices in Dublin next Monday.

Mr Caffrey did not respond to requests for comment.