COUNCIL leader Mike Jones will not face any further action for calling two of his constituents ‘d***heads’.
Tattenhall resident Colin Oats heard the Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) leader make the offensive remark in a public meeting last summer.
He made a formal complaint to the council and the authority’s then monitoring officer Simon Goacher requested an investigation into Cllr Jones’ behaviour.
Mr Goacher left the council in December and his replacement Meic Sullivan-Gould – who was appointed this month – has ruled no further action should be taken against Cllr Jones.
The decision follows a second report by independent investigator Mike Dudfield.
In his first report Mr Dudfield said Cllr Jones had broken the council’s code of conduct and criticised him for his behaviour.
But he has now produced a second report clearing Cllr Jones of any wrongdoing as he was not on official council business.
The new report was prompted by information contained in a letter of apology to the monitoring officer from Cllr Jones.
Mr Dudfield said he was unaware Cllr Jones was at the public meeting in a private capacity as he had refused to co-operate with his investigation.
Government legislation only requires councillors to comply with the council’s code of conduct ‘when they are acting in that capacity’.
In his letter Cllr Jones said: “I fully accept my remarks – although intended as a private aside muttered to myself at a public meeting – were inappropriate.”
He also said he had only “popped in for the last 10 minutes” as he was meeting a friend later.
In his latest report, Mr Dudfield states: “I cannot say whether I would have reached the same conclusion in relation to the application of the code to the subject matter of the complaint.”
That left monitoring officer Mr Sullivan-Gould with two possible options – either to commission a further formal complaint or to take no action. He decided on the latter, believing Cllr Jones’ apology is enough.
Cllr Jones admitted using the offensive words and said he “regrets” the insult and apologised for any offence caused.
In his letter of apology, Cllr Jones stated: “While having considerable concerns about the poor investigation and the accuracy of certain aspects of the report itself, I would again like to apologise to anyone attending that public meeting who was offended.”
Mr Oats – who has been sent a copy of the second report – has previously said he would only accept an apology if Cllr Jones made clear to whom the insult was aimed.