Once again we see the political expenses system being abused without any serious reaction from so called regulatory authorities.
Fine Gael councillor Pat Kennedy claimed travel expenses for the use of his car to attend five conferences and seminars in February and March 2010 when, in fact, his car was off the road due to an accident (Irish Independent).
Cllr. Kennedy told Limerick City Council that the car he rented for the period in question was changed on a number of occasions by the rental company.
When challenged Cllr. Kennedy chose not to provide any other car details and repaid the money (€1,690.65) in April 2010.
Limerick city manager, Tom Mackey, accepted the payment from Cllr. Kennedy and took no further action.
I contacted the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) this morning with the intention of making a formal complaint but was informed that I must first make a complaint to the Ethics Registrar of Limerick City Council (Copy of complaint below).
This latest scandal raises a number of questions.
Did Limerick City Council officials check with the car rental company to verify Kennedy’s claim that his rented car was changed on a number of occasion?
Company records would immediately confirm or otherwise this claim or, indeed, if he rented a car at all.
Is there a requirement/duty on public officials like city managers to report matters of this kind (to anybody) or can they just nod and wink behind closed doors?
I wish to lodge a formal complaint under Part 15 of the Local Government Act, 2001 against Fine Gael Councillor Pat Kennedy.
The complaint concerns a report in the Irish Independent dated 4th October 2011 in which the following allegation is made against Councillor Kennedy.
That he claimed travel expenses for the use of his car during the period October 1, 2009 through to March 31, 2010 when his car was off the road due to a traffic accident.
Specifically, Councillor Kennedy claimed that his car was used to travel to five conferences and seminars in February and March 2010 when, in fact, his car was not available to him during this period.