SIPO finds against CEO of Wexford County Council

By Dan Walsh

Mr Karl Fitzpatrick who was a complainant in a case against the Chief Executive Officer of Wexford County Council, Mr Tom Enright, in a statement dated Friday, 7th January 2022, has welcomed the decision by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) to uphold the complaint.

Mr Fitzpatrick said;I took this complaint to ensure that nobody else would be subjected to this treatment by Mr. Enright. While I attempted to have this matter resolved locally, I encountered significant barriers and I was left with no option but to report this behaviour directly to SIPO. I am pleased that the Commission has found that my complaint was warranted.

“SIPO is an independent statutory body, chaired by a former High Court Judge, whose remit is to investigate and make findings in relation to issues of significant public importance concerning public officials.  Today, (Friday), SIPO published its Investigation Report and has found that Mr Enright contravened the Local Government Act in a number of respects. 

WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL Headquarters

In making these findings SIPO repeatedly referenced:

• the seriousness of Mr Enright’s actions;

• the recklessness of Mr Enright’s behaviour;

• that Mr Enright did not act in good faith;

• and, that Mr Enright had brought the position of Chief Executive and Wexford County Council into disrepute.

“In criticising Mr Enright’s treatment of South East Radio, SIPO stated that Mr Enright misused the Council’s position as the station’s primary advertiser, in effect ‘throwing around the weight’ of the Council’s purse.”

“The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) issued a compliance notice to South East Radio in relation to the station’s inadvertent failure to record their Morning Mix show on 6 March 2019 due to a technical error, which was accepted at that time by Mr Enright. However, the BAI dismissed a separate wide ranging complaint made by Wexford County Council against South East Radio which was in part linked to a programme I present.  The BAI has stated that they now consider this matter closed,” concluded Mr Fitzpatrick.

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