A council member will not be subject to any disciplinary action following allegations that he voted during a meeting while operating a moving vehicle.
The complaint against Conwy councillor Andrew Wood, lodged in December, claimed that he had raised his hand to vote while his car was in motion, an assertion he refuted.
The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Michelle Morris, has determined that no penalties will be imposed in this case. This decision was reached on the grounds that the incident appeared to be an isolated occurrence, and no police investigation was underway.
During the remote meeting in question, Mr. Wood’s vehicle initially seemed to be stationary, but it was observed to be in motion when he raised his hand to vote.
During the occurrence in question, Mr. Wood, an independent representative for Gele and Llanddulas, gave a statement to the Daily Post, asserting, “I can tell you I have not done a Zoom meeting while driving a vehicle.
“The only time I have ever attended a meeting whilst in my vehicle would have been an audio meeting only.
“I play it through my Bluetooth, other than that I do not have a clue as it’s never been pointed out to me. I know nothing about it.”
Opposing members within the authority, on the other hand, characterised his behaviour as “completely reckless.” Ms. Morris clarified that her inquiry focused on determining whether he had violated the council’s code of conduct by tarnishing the reputation of his office or the authority.
She determined that since it was an isolated occurrence and no criminal investigation was underway, no punitive measures would be enacted. However, her decision would be documented and considered should any similar conduct recur in the future.
North Wales Police has not been presented with a formal complaint and deems it currently not in the public interest to initiate an investigation into the issue.