It has been revealed that the Northern Ireland Local Government Watchdog has set a date at which the will hear the case of an ‘alleged’ breach of the Councillors Code of Conduct by Councillor Ian Stevenson.
On March 14th, Mr Stevenson will have the case against him heard by the Local Government Commissioner of Standards. The charge against him is that of ‘conducting himself in a manor which could reasonably be regards as bring his position as a councillor on the council into disrepute’.
The complaint was made to the Local Government Standards Watchdog about Mr Stevenson last year after he was found guilty of sexual assault against a former work colleague, the charges being that he groped the woman’s breasts before saying he would ‘grope anything’.
The District Judge, Amanda Henderson, said that Mr Stevenson had failed to provide an explanation for why the woman would fabricate the incident after they had perviously been on good terms. Mr Stevenson was placed on the sex offenders register for 5 years and given 200 hours community service, but its understood the Councillor plans to appeal.
Mr Stevenson has been suspended from the DUP with a spokesperson for the party saying that;
“Party officers will consider the judgement in due course.”
Currently this leaves Mr Stevenson sitting as an Independent on the council and it’s unclear yet if he plans to contest his seat in the upcoming council elections on May 2nd.