AN INVESTIGATION in to the behaviour of a Greenwich Council cabinet member has recommended he apologise to a full meeting of the council but accepted he acted "without malicious intent" and "had not gained personally."
The Standards Committee met yesterday morning at Woolwich Town Hall and took evidence from Cllr John Fahy, who was accused of failing to declare that he and the Chief Executive of Greenwich Leisure Limited were directors of the same charity, Meridian Link.
The committee found that Fahy has "no close business or social relationship" with the GLL boss and "technically" did not have a "personal interest to declare" at the cabinet meeting that saw library services transferred to GLL. The committee did, however, conclude that it would have been "preferable" if the councillor had declared his involvement in Meridian Link.
But the committee, chaired by Dr Susan Blackall, did find the Code of Conduct had been breached as Cllr Fahy had not registered his involvement with Meridian Link within 28 days of becoming a Director although they accepted this had been an "oversight" for which he had apologised.
The report concluded:
"That no further action be taken but it is recommended that Councillor Fahy makes a statement of apology to full council for his failure to register his interest in Meridian Link and to declare his involvement with Meridian Link at the November 2011 meeting of the Cabinet. In reaching this decision the Committee noted , the fact that there had been no malicious intent on his part; he had apologised for his omission and had not gained personally as a result.
Cllr Fahy told Greenwich.co.uk he was "very relieved" with the outcome.
"This episode in my life has been a steep learning curve. I never faltered in my belief that I was not guilty of any wrong doing in this or any other matter during my period of public office which has spanned over thirty years.
"While I fully admit my failure to register the interest within the prescribed period, this was not done in any wilful way. The fact that I was removed from my Cabinet role in Olympic year was a bitter blow for me but I will continue to work tirelessly in the interests of residents of the Borough and those that elected me to represent them."