Otago Daily Times

Van­dervis can be heard to­day when coun­cil­lors de­bate case


DUNEDIN city coun­cil­lors will to­day con­sider sanc­tions against one of their own, as the find­ings of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into ‘‘in­tim­i­dat­ing’’ be­hav­iour by Cr Lee Van­dervis are de­bated.

Cr Van­dervis was found by in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor and lawyer Steph Dyhrberg to have breached the coun­cil’s code of con­duct and demon­strated ‘‘abu­sive’’ be­hav­iour when he chal­lenged a rul­ing made by Deputy Mayor Chris­tine Garey.

To­day, at a full coun­cil meet­ing, he will have a chance to de­fend him­self and coun­cil­lors will de­cide if they agree he breached the code and, if so, what con­se­quences he should face.

If he is found in breach by a panel of eight coun­cil­lors, pos­si­ble penal­ties in­clude sus­pen­sion from com­mit­tees, re­moval of coun­cil­funded priv­i­leges, a vote of no con­fi­dence or be­ing asked to con­sider re­sign­ing.

He can­not be sacked.

Cr Van­dervis could not be reached yes­ter­day, but said in a state­ment last week the ac­tion against him was de­signed to ‘‘smother my ini­tial com­plaints’’ about coun­cil lead­ers’ lack of proper process.

At the end of a July coun­cil meet­ing, he al­legedly shouted at, stood over and pointed in Cr Garey's face, and be­haved so ag­gres­sively that she feared he might strike her.

Ms Dyhrberg found Cr Van­dervis be­haved ‘‘in a man­ner any­one would have found in­tim­i­dat­ing’’ at the end of a coun­cil meet­ing in July and said there had been a ma­te­rial breach of the code of con­duct.

Other items to be dis­cussed by the coun­cil in­clude whether it will adopt a new Trad­ing in Pub­lic Places By­law, and whether to re­view its Keep­ing of An­i­mals (ex­clud­ing Dogs) and Birds By­law five years early.

 ??  ?? Lee Van­dervis
Lee Van­dervis

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