Councillor under investigation for alleged breaches

Cllr Mervyn Rea.
Cllr Mervyn Rea.

An Ulster Unionist councillor has been referred to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards for a number of alleged breaches against the code of conduct for councillors.

Veteran Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council representative, Cllr Mervyn Rea, has been referred by the Deputy Commissioner to the Commissioner for an adjudication.

The Airport DEA councillor, who yesterday handed in his nomination papers for the upcoming election next month, may now face a hearing.

The details of the alleged breaches are paragraphs 4.6, 4.16, 6.1 and 6.3 of the code. These relate to obligations as a councillor, use of position, and pecuniary interest.

Detailing the penalties that could be imposed if Cllr Rea is found to be in breach of the code, a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman said: “The Commissioner can impose one of the following sanctions: Censure, suspension, or partial suspension, from being a councillor for a period of up to a maximum of one year; or disqualification from being or becoming a councillor for a period up to a maximum of five years.”

The Newtownabbey Times contacted Cllr Rea about the investigation, but he declined to comment on the matter.