Drink-driving ex-mayor Thomas Hogg suspended as councillor

A former mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey who was convicted in May last year of drink-driving has said he is “deeply sorry for his behaviour” after he was suspended from his role as a councillor by the Local Government Commissioner for Standards yesterday.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 6:45 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:31 pm
Thomas Hogg was given a 12-month ban and £250 fine for his drink-driving conviction

Thomas Hogg, who was elected as a DUP councillor in 2011, was given a 12-month driving ban and fined £250 after he admitted drink driving in court in Belfast on May 25.

He was handed a five-month suspension yesterday after an investigation was carried out by the Local Government Ethical Standards directorate.

A hearing was held at the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman’s office at Progressive House in Belfast yesterday.

A spokesperson for the commissioner for standards confirmed to the News Letter that Mr Hogg had been given a five-month suspension, which will begin on Monday, February 4.

Mr Hogg apologised for his behaviour last night.

“I accept this sanction,” he said in a statement. “I am deeply sorry for my behaviour. My conduct let down my constituents and party.”

He added: “It was wrong and will not happen again.”

A DUP spokesman said: “The party suspended councillor Hogg for eight months. That suspension has now been lifted. The party notes the sanction, councillor Hogg’s fulsome apology and his commitment to ensure this behaviour is never repeated.”

A spokesperson for the Local Government Commissioner for Standards said: “The commissioner found that councillor Hogg had breached Paragraph 4.2 of the Local Government Code of Conduct, which states that councillors must not bring their position as a councillor, or their council, into disrepute.”