Second Sipo inquiry into former council chief executive

Longford’s Tim Caffrey facing fresh investigato into sale of house he owned

Former Longford County Council chief executive Tim Caffrey

Former Longford County Council chief executive Tim Caffrey

 

A former county council chief executive is to face a second Standards in Public Office (Sipo) Commission investigation in relation to the sale of a house he owned.

Former Longford County Council chief executive Tim Caffrey came in for heavy criticism from the standards watchdog last year over his failure to disclose his interest in a €259,000 property which was the subject of an attempted acquisition by the Muiríosa Foundation, an approved housing body.

It was found that his involvement in the proposed transaction, which never went ahead, contravened ethics legislation because Mr Caffrey failed to make known his ownership of the house at The Mill, Clondra.

He appeared before a Sipo hearing in September 2015 in relation to an investigation which began in November 2013, and now he has been asked by the same body to make another appearance over other potential contraventions thought to relate to the same general issue.

In a short statement, Sipo said Mr Caffrey will appear before a hearing at its offices in Dublin on 12th September.

“The Standards Commission has decided that it is appropriate to initiate an investigation into alleged contraventions of ethics legislation by Mr Tim Caffrey, former Chief Executive, Longford County Council, under the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001.

“This investigation hearing will be to hear evidence relating to alleged contraventions separate from the contravention that it investigated at its hearing on 28 September 2015.”

During the hearing last September, Mr Caffrey admitted to contravening ethics rules by failing to declare his ownership of the property in writing.

However, he maintains that this was due to a personal lack of awareness of the relevant regulations, and he later took issue with Sipo’s finding he “did not act in good faith” in advance of the purchase.

Longford County Council decided not to take any action against Mr Caffrey despite the Sipo findings, and he retired from his position of chief executive in March.