Fine Gael Cllr. Terence Slowey this week apologised to his council and party colleagues and to the people of the Glenties Electoral Area, for double claiming expenses for two conferences he attended in 2008.
At Tuesday’s council meeting Sinn Féin called on Cllr. Slowey to resign in the wake of a Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) report that found he committed four contraventions of ethics and local government acts.
Resisting the call for his resignation, Cllr. Slowey said he looked forward to continuing to serve the people of the Glenties Electoral Area.
Councillors had been asked to consider the Sipo report, which determined that the councillor acted recklessly when he made two expense claims for attending conferences in Cork and Kerry during the same weekend in October 2008. Following an investigation by the Donegal Democrat last year, Cllr. Slowey admitted to submitting the two claims.
In brief remarks at the council meeting, Cllr. Slowey said, “As I said to the Standards in Public Office Commission, I very much regret what happened in this case.” He said, “I made a mistake and as soon as I became aware of that mistake I moved to rectify it as best I could.”
The councillor has repaid the more than 2,400 euro in travel, subsistence and expenses that he received for attending the conferences.
The councillor said that the past 16 months “have been very difficult for myself and my family,” adding that, “People think you’ve got a Teflon coat and nothing sticks to you.” But the issue became a national story as well as a Donegal story, he said.
Cllr. Slowey reiterated his regret for the incident and said, “I think I paid a very high price for it and thank members for listening to me today.”
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