‘Bit­ter’ King hits back at cen­sure for his con­duct

Herald Express - - News - BY DANIEL CLARK

ATORBAY coun­cil­lor dis­ci­plined for mis­con­duct has at­tacked the de­ci­sion and says he won’t be seek­ing re-elec­tion af­ter his “bit­ter ex­pe­ri­ence”.

Mark King was is­sued with a for­mal cen­sure – a state­ment crit­i­cis­ing his be­hav­iour – by Tor­bay Coun­cil for break­ing the mem­bers’ code of con­duct which gov­erns coun­cil­lors’ be­hav­iour.

A stan­dards hear­ing sub-com­mit­tee de­cided he put him­self un­der an obli­ga­tion to an in­di­vid­ual, sought ad­van­tage for him­self and dis­ad­van­tage for some­one else, and ‘failed to up­hold and pro­mote high stan­dards of con­duct when hold­ing pub­lic of­fice’.

Cllr King re­fused to ac­cept the find­ings and claimed it was a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion not backed up by ev­i­dence.

He said an ear­lier re­port by an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor had cleared him of mis­con­duct and claimed the sub-com­mit­tee of coun­cil­lors car­ry­ing out the in­quiry had ig­nored its find­ings.

Cllr King said: “To say that I am dis­ap­pointed is a gross un­der­state­ment. I have done noth­ing wrong.This case has made

Coun­cil­lor Mark King me very ill.”

He said he felt bul­lied into at­tend­ing hear­ings de­spite hav­ing a doc­tor’s cer­tifi­cate say­ing he was un­fit for work due to anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion.

And he said there had been “a vile on­line hate cam­paign” against him.

The stan­dards sub-com­mit­tee which in­ves­ti­gated the com­plaint against Cllr King has asked for a new in­ves­ti­ga­tion to cover al­le­ga­tions re­lat­ing to the be­hav­iour of an­other coun­cil­lor, the award of con­tracts for bus ser­vices, se­cu­rity, and an event, and al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing in plan­ning.

The orig­i­nal com­plaint was from a woman Cllr King de­vel­oped a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with. She said she later be­came con­cerned for her safety due to his be­hav­iour.

Wood crosses are placed in the flower bed at Courte­nay Park

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