Standards Investigation Finds Councillor Released Confidential Information

Councillor David Pearson

Councillor David Pearson

An Isles of Scilly councillor breached the Members’ Code of Conduct by releasing confidential information about the suspension of the former Head Teacher Bryce Wilby.

That’s the finding of an independent review carried out into the actions of Cllr David Pearson, following a complaint by Lisa Magill last year.

Lisa alleged that Cllr Pearson had revealed confidential information about the case in official Council press releases and during an interview on Radio Scilly in September 2012.

The case was originally investigated last July by Cornwall’s Principal Legal Officer Simon Mansell.

He found that no breach of the rules had taken place, but Ms Magill Brown appealed, and an independent review was launched in November by Solicitor Mark Hynes.

Mr Hynes found that Cllr Pearson’s radio interview amounted to an “unauthorised disclosure of confidential information, which also bought the council into disrepute.” No confidential information was released in the Council press releases, he said.

Because the original finding was changed, that triggered a further review on behalf of David Pearson by another solicitor, Philip McCourt.

Mr McCourt upheld the decision that the radio interview breached the rules.

Cllr Pearson will now have to attended training on media relations and handling confidential information.

Speaking to Radio Scilly yesterday, David said he feels that he didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already circulating in the community at the time.

He says it was difficult to know what was actually public knowledge because there were so many leaks from the Council, but he maintains that he acted in good faith.

David says he’s suggested to the Council’s Monitoring Officer that it would be helpful for all elected members to receive media training.

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