Conservative Councillor Michael Wallis who leads on Culture and Leisure for Erewash in addition to his role as Chair of the Conservative Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council has been summoned to a Conduct Hearing by Erewash Borough Council.

The Hearing is scheduled for 29th February, 2012.

The decision was taken by Erewash officials, following a complaint by a member of the Ockbrook and Borrowash Labour Party and Steel and Shamash Solicitors, instructed by Labour’s National Executive Committee. The complaints concern Cllr  Wallis’s publication of material in the Ockbrook and Borrowash  Parish Council magazine and website that have  been alleged to be designed to influence public support for a political  party during the 2011 Local Election period; thereby incorrectly appropriating  public resources and finance for party political purposes.

The latest probe follows  a Derbyshire Police investigation into a different breach of election regulation by Cllr Wallis which resulted in a letter of advice being  issued by the police to Cllr Wallis and a verbal warning that a recurrence of the offence could incur a more serious outcome.

The scheduled Hearing follows initial discussion of the April 2011 complaints by the Erewash Council’s Standards Committee Assessment Sub-Committee. The matter was then referred to Erewash Borough Council Monitoring Officer, Brendan Morris for deliberation.  An independent officer was subsequently appointed to undertake a Standards investigation into the matters; findings were presented by July 2011.

On December  19th 2011, the Erewash Council’s Hearings Sub Committee agreed that the complaint regarding Cllr Wallis merited formal scrutiny at a Hearing to be conducted on 29th February, 2012.

Vice Chair of Ockbrook and Borrowash Labour Party, Philip Whitt said:

It is correct that these matters are being investigated and we await the outcome.

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