Councillors reported over £500k pay-off

COUNCILLORS who approved a half a million pounds pay off to a poverty charity boss have been reported to a standards watchdog.

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Jim Coleman, George Redmond and former councillor Catherine McMaster approved the enhanced pay-off for East End charity boss Ronnie Saez
Jim Coleman, George Redmond and former councillor Catherine McMaster approved the enhanced pay-off for East End charity boss Ronnie Saez

Earlier this week the Evening Times revealed how the charity regulator found an enhanced pension payment was "misconduct" and "wholly unacceptable".

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) said it was not told of the intention of Glasgow East Regeneration Agency (GERA) to pay its chief executive Ronnie Saez an extra pension contribution of more than £200,000 on top of a redundancy package already worth more than a quarter of a million pounds.

GERA applied to wind up the charity after it was to merge with others into a single agency for Glasgow.

But four weeks later the board met to approve an augmented pension payment for Mr Saez, which it had not previously disclosed.

The three councillors who were on the board and who took the decision, Jim Coleman, George Redmond and now ex-councillor Catherine McMaster, were criticised in the report and have now been reported to the Public Standards Commissioner.

If found to have breached the code of conduct a further more detailed investigation can be held by the Standards Commission.

John Mason, Shettleston MSP, previously referred the matter to the charity watchdog, which released its findings this week.

Now Mr Mason has reported the three individual councillors, alleging they have breached the code governing councillors' actions.

He argued they had breached rules governing public trust, objectivity, financial gain of family or friends and accountability.

He added: "They have not acted in the interests of the communities served.

"They have not taken decisions solely in terms of the public interest."

The charity watchdog decided to warn the councillors of their responsibilities when acting as trustees, but did not recommend they be removed from any other boards they serve on.

Tory Councillor David Meikle has claimed the councillors should be removed from other boards questioning their ability to be classed as fit and proper persons to serve.

Mr Redmond is chairman of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Mr Coleman is chairman of Glasgow Community Safety Services.



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