Deputy leader suspended for two weeks

Western Telegraph: SUSPENDED: Cllr Rob Lewis SUSPENDED: Cllr Rob Lewis

THE deputy leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has been suspended for two weeks after he was found to have improperly used council resources.

Councillor Rob Lewis was the subject of a Code of Conduct hearing at County Hall on Tuesday, after being accused of using authority computers for political campaigning in the last elections.

The Public Service Ombudsman was called into investigate a complaint made by Cllr David Bryan, after he received an anonymous DVD called ‘IPG election campaigns 2008 and 2012’ with 16 sub-files on it in September 2012.

A report which went before the Standards Committee said Cllr Lewis accepts that he had used the council’s computer system inappropriately in 16 circumstances, including creating election posters encouraging people to vote for the likes of David Simpson, Elwyn Morse, Ken Rowlands, Lyndon Frayling, Pearl Llewellyn, Peter Stock and himself and former councillors Clive Collins, Jim Codd and John George.

But Cllr Lewis disputed that the context of a further five instances were improper use. In his opinion those matters related to either the preparation or formation of the relevant political structures required for the running of an authority.

As the secretary to the Independent Group, Cllr Lewis said: “I was asked by members to prepare a speculative view of how the authority would look after the elections.

“Maybe in hindsight I should have picked up my laptop, instead I used the machine which I had sat in front of for six or seven years.

“The files are split into two sections: Pre election files and actual files. The pre election ones could be deemed inappropriate, but the post election ones are to do with the formation of the council.

“The files before you were stored in the council system, taken without my permission, and used against me.”

Cllr Lewis also raised concerns about the publicity surrounding the matter, with the complainant already bringing it to the attention of the press, and the stolen files available to see on Cllr Jacob Williams’ website. He said the matter should have been kept confidential until it had reached a conclusion.

After deliberations, Cllr Lewis was found to have breached the Code of Conduct and was suspended for two weeks. The Standards Committee also recommended a review be undertaken of the use of Council IT resources.

Comments (18)

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10:31am Wed 19 Mar 14

hardcheese says...

Councillor Rob Lewis should be kicked out immediately. The time has come for a clean out in Pembrokeshire C C. Lets start by getting rid of the councillors who are ignoring their constituents and putting themselves first.
Councillor Rob Lewis should be kicked out immediately. The time has come for a clean out in Pembrokeshire C C. Lets start by getting rid of the councillors who are ignoring their constituents and putting themselves first. hardcheese
  • Score: 34

11:15am Wed 19 Mar 14

Harrygrayballs says...

What does suspended for two weeks mean in practice?
Is that two weeks to"consider his position"?
Does that mean his pay will be"docked"?
Can he go on a"sunshine break"?
Will he be missed?
What does suspended for two weeks mean in practice? Is that two weeks to"consider his position"? Does that mean his pay will be"docked"? Can he go on a"sunshine break"? Will he be missed? Harrygrayballs
  • Score: 34

11:44am Wed 19 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

suspended good but would have been much better had it been the chief executive and the current council leader.for an indefinite time come on ombudsman make some more much needed decisions regarding P.C.C.
suspended good but would have been much better had it been the chief executive and the current council leader.for an indefinite time come on ombudsman make some more much needed decisions regarding P.C.C. seaveiw
  • Score: 21

11:49am Wed 19 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

About time something has happened not just to him but also to the rest of this council.The chief executive and the leader should follow on indefinite suspension pending a full investigation oft their conduct
About time something has happened not just to him but also to the rest of this council.The chief executive and the leader should follow on indefinite suspension pending a full investigation oft their conduct seaveiw
  • Score: 19

12:02pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Flashbang says...

Look on the bright side, it should keep him from stuffing up the county for two weeks even though it's a totally inadequate outcome.
Look on the bright side, it should keep him from stuffing up the county for two weeks even though it's a totally inadequate outcome. Flashbang
  • Score: 23

12:55pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Welsh Hillbilly says...

Should have kicked him out for good.
Should have kicked him out for good. Welsh Hillbilly
  • Score: 22

1:11pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Justiceforall says...

Unauthorised use of computers though illegal, is small change compared to the stories of councillors using council employees and materials to fix up their homes and drives. If these stories are true, lets have disclosure of the culprits and let the police deal with them.. Present and ex council employees would be able to verify if they have worked on any Councillors properties.
Unauthorised use of computers though illegal, is small change compared to the stories of councillors using council employees and materials to fix up their homes and drives. If these stories are true, lets have disclosure of the culprits and let the police deal with them.. Present and ex council employees would be able to verify if they have worked on any Councillors properties. Justiceforall
  • Score: 23

2:43pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Samsungs says...

If the council does merge with Ceredigion then would be a good time to get rid of all the vile trash that seem to fleece the county for their own benefit, it's an outrage and unfortunately probably more common in public office than we know.
If the council does merge with Ceredigion then would be a good time to get rid of all the vile trash that seem to fleece the county for their own benefit, it's an outrage and unfortunately probably more common in public office than we know. Samsungs
  • Score: 26

6:33pm Wed 19 Mar 14

chizy says...

I love this bit:

"Cllr Lewis also raised concerns about the publicity surrounding the matter, with the complainant already bringing it to the attention of the press, and the stolen files available to see on Cllr Jacob Williams’ website. He said the matter should have been kept confidential until it had reached a conclusion."

Blimey Cllr Lewis, what century are you living in? Surely you would been better off saying the big boys made you do it and when you got busted they ran away.
Does it bother you that us mere mortals know more about you, your chums and your collective shenanigans than you do?
Twenty odd years ago you could have done what you wanted, when you wanted and no one outside the 'magic circle' would have been aware and there would have been none of this fuss. Unfortunately for you it's 2014 and the public now have the tools to know exactly who's doing what and what they are seeing they don't like one bit.
Use the 2 weeks wisely. Maybe you could update your cv? Try not to use PCC's computers though, it might get you into trouble ;)

Google definition of shenanigans is as follows :
"secret or dishonest activity or manoeuvring."
I love this bit: "Cllr Lewis also raised concerns about the publicity surrounding the matter, with the complainant already bringing it to the attention of the press, and the stolen files available to see on Cllr Jacob Williams’ website. He said the matter should have been kept confidential until it had reached a conclusion." Blimey Cllr Lewis, what century are you living in? Surely you would been better off saying the big boys made you do it and when you got busted they ran away. Does it bother you that us mere mortals know more about you, your chums and your collective shenanigans than you do? Twenty odd years ago you could have done what you wanted, when you wanted and no one outside the 'magic circle' would have been aware and there would have been none of this fuss. Unfortunately for you it's 2014 and the public now have the tools to know exactly who's doing what and what they are seeing they don't like one bit. Use the 2 weeks wisely. Maybe you could update your cv? Try not to use PCC's computers though, it might get you into trouble ;) Google definition of shenanigans is as follows : "secret or dishonest activity or manoeuvring." chizy
  • Score: 25

7:31pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Mike Stoddart says...

As I know from experience, the Ombudsman issues a warning to complainants that if they speak to he media about their complaint they might also be in breach of the Code of Conduct.
However, in the present case, Cllr Lewis' claim that David Bryan had breached this embargo has no validity whatsoever because the press report he complains about appeared in the Milford Mercury on 9 August 2012 - several weeks before Cllr Bryan complained to the Ombudsman.
As Jacob Williams was not the complainant in the case, the "Partygate" files that appeared on his website were not affected in any way by the Ombudsman's restrictions on publicity.
So what we have is yet another example of the standard IPPG tactic of trying to put up a smokescreen to distract attention from what really went on.
As I know from experience, the Ombudsman issues a warning to complainants that if they speak to he media about their complaint they might also be in breach of the Code of Conduct. However, in the present case, Cllr Lewis' claim that David Bryan had breached this embargo has no validity whatsoever because the press report he complains about appeared in the Milford Mercury on 9 August 2012 - several weeks before Cllr Bryan complained to the Ombudsman. As Jacob Williams was not the complainant in the case, the "Partygate" files that appeared on his website were not affected in any way by the Ombudsman's restrictions on publicity. So what we have is yet another example of the standard IPPG tactic of trying to put up a smokescreen to distract attention from what really went on. Mike Stoddart
  • Score: 30

7:43pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Harrygrayballs says...

A comment made on "another website"suggests that Councillor Lewis may
be considering an appeal........Only in Pembrokeshire!!!!
A comment made on "another website"suggests that Councillor Lewis may be considering an appeal........Only in Pembrokeshire!!!! Harrygrayballs
  • Score: 21

10:18pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

Harrygrayballs wrote:
A comment made on "another website"suggests that Councillor Lewis may
be considering an appeal........Only in Pembrokeshire!!!!
One can only hope that those who judge can increase the penalty :(
[quote][p][bold]Harrygrayballs[/bold] wrote: A comment made on "another website"suggests that Councillor Lewis may be considering an appeal........Only in Pembrokeshire!!!![/p][/quote]One can only hope that those who judge can increase the penalty :( Tttoommy
  • Score: 22

11:06am Thu 20 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

Mike Stoddart wrote:
As I know from experience, the Ombudsman issues a warning to complainants that if they speak to he media about their complaint they might also be in breach of the Code of Conduct.
However, in the present case, Cllr Lewis' claim that David Bryan had breached this embargo has no validity whatsoever because the press report he complains about appeared in the Milford Mercury on 9 August 2012 - several weeks before Cllr Bryan complained to the Ombudsman.
As Jacob Williams was not the complainant in the case, the "Partygate" files that appeared on his website were not affected in any way by the Ombudsman's restrictions on publicity.
So what we have is yet another example of the standard IPPG tactic of trying to put up a smokescreen to distract attention from what really went on.
I agree totally what a shambles, he and his leader and followers are totally insular or think they are from any legal implications,and more importantly think they are from us the general public Both the M.P. and the member at the senedd are aware of what is going on here but seem happy to wait for the police enquiry,
[quote][p][bold]Mike Stoddart[/bold] wrote: As I know from experience, the Ombudsman issues a warning to complainants that if they speak to he media about their complaint they might also be in breach of the Code of Conduct. However, in the present case, Cllr Lewis' claim that David Bryan had breached this embargo has no validity whatsoever because the press report he complains about appeared in the Milford Mercury on 9 August 2012 - several weeks before Cllr Bryan complained to the Ombudsman. As Jacob Williams was not the complainant in the case, the "Partygate" files that appeared on his website were not affected in any way by the Ombudsman's restrictions on publicity. So what we have is yet another example of the standard IPPG tactic of trying to put up a smokescreen to distract attention from what really went on.[/p][/quote]I agree totally what a shambles, he and his leader and followers are totally insular or think they are from any legal implications,and more importantly think they are from us the general public Both the M.P. and the member at the senedd are aware of what is going on here but seem happy to wait for the police enquiry, seaveiw
  • Score: 21

7:37pm Thu 20 Mar 14

ScoobyDooby says...

When you read Rob Lewis' pathetic attempt to blame anyone other than himself for being found out, it is then that the old **** Meter starts going into overdrive!
When you read Rob Lewis' pathetic attempt to blame anyone other than himself for being found out, it is then that the old **** Meter starts going into overdrive! ScoobyDooby
  • Score: 13

2:49pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Doc Malik says...

Harrygrayballs wrote:
What does suspended for two weeks mean in practice?
Is that two weeks to"consider his position"?
Does that mean his pay will be"docked"?
Can he go on a"sunshine break"?
Will he be missed?
To answer each question in turn

1. Sod all;
2. You must be joking;
3. Yes;
4. If he can tear himself away from a computer for long enough;
5. You must be joking. Not twice. Not with a shotgun.
[quote][p][bold]Harrygrayballs[/bold] wrote: What does suspended for two weeks mean in practice? Is that two weeks to"consider his position"? Does that mean his pay will be"docked"? Can he go on a"sunshine break"? Will he be missed?[/p][/quote]To answer each question in turn 1. Sod all; 2. You must be joking; 3. Yes; 4. If he can tear himself away from a computer for long enough; 5. You must be joking. Not twice. Not with a shotgun. Doc Malik
  • Score: 13

3:38pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Citizen Pembs says...

' You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the the time.'

Abraham Lincoln.

Another wise lesson of his that Rob Lewis and also Jamie Adams might heed.

'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.'
' You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the the time.' Abraham Lincoln. Another wise lesson of his that Rob Lewis and also Jamie Adams might heed. 'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.' Citizen Pembs
  • Score: 14

4:33pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

I believe Jamies a fool certainly, but slippery & sly with it :(
I believe Jamies a fool certainly, but slippery & sly with it :( Tttoommy
  • Score: 9

3:43pm Tue 25 Mar 14

KeanJo says...

Lord Mynors, reporting his views on a High Street bank recently said:- it was a hive of institutional cronyism, led by a dubiously elected cabal that is dangerously unfit for the job in hand. I wonder what this reminded me of?
Lord Mynors, reporting his views on a High Street bank recently said:- it was a hive of institutional cronyism, led by a dubiously elected cabal that is dangerously unfit for the job in hand. I wonder what this reminded me of? KeanJo
  • Score: 4

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