Maldon District Council: standards committee will debate outcome of investigative reports into complaints about a councillor's behaviour

  Posted: 30.08.21 at 10:13 by The Editor

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A Maldon District Council (MDC) committee will debate and discuss the outcomes of two investigation reports following a number of separate complaints against Independent Councillor Chrisy Morris.

The two reports will be debated in a hearing by MDC's Joint Standards Committee on Monday, 6 September - with a view to deciding whether or not Cllr Morris has broken MDC's Code of Conduct. The committee will also vote on whether any sanctions should be imposed, with this part of the meeting being held in private.

One report deals with complaints from other councillors against Cllr Morris and the other with complaints from members of MDC's Corporate Leadership Team (CLT).

The reports - conducted by independent investigators commissioned by MDC - both recommend to members that Cllr Morris has broken the Code of Conduct.

The investigators conclude in the report submitted to the committee : "Finally, we recommend on the basis of the evidence set out in this report with regards the various matters complained, that Councillor Morris be found to have bullied others, contrary to paragraph 3.5(b) of the Code, and conducted himself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his or office or the Authority into disrepute, contrary to paragraph 3.5(e) of the Code."

The investigations were made following individual complaints regarding Cllr Morris's behaviour on a number of separate occasions.

These include:
-a complaint by Independent Councillor Christopher Swain with regard to a Planning Committee meeting on 13 August, 2020
-a complaint by Conservative Councillor Maddie Thompson about and email copied to all members on 14 August
-a complaint by Conservative Councillor Bob Boyce regarding a comment made by Cllr Morris on 3 September, 2020 during a meeting of the council’s Joint Standards Committee
-complaints by Conservative Councillor Penny Channer with regard to social media postings by Cllr Morris of confidential information and a recorded telephone conversation
-various complaints about Cllr Morris's behaviour towards members of MDC's CLT.

For the Joint Standards Committee hearing into the matter, Essex County Council Monitoring Officer Paul Turner will be Acting Monitoring Officer "in the interests of ensuring that
there is a fair hearing".

The public domain papers as detailed in this article can be found on Maldon District Council's website using the link here.

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