Planner loses sacking claim

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A PLANNER sacked for allegedly accepting gifts from a developer has lost his claim for unfair dismissal.

Daniel Welsh (45) was dismissed by North Lanarkshire Council two years ago.

He admitted that he had received tickets for SPL football matches over a four-year period and been given the use of businessman Mario Rea’s apartment in Spain.

Mr Rea and his twin brother Carlo have had various business interests in Lanarkshire and once ran Dalziel Park Country Club.

Mr Welsh said he knew Mario Rea only as a friend and denied giving him information about planning matters in return for gifts.

However, his unfair dismissal claim was thrown out by a tribunal in Glasgow.

Mr Welsh was quizzed as part of a major investigation by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency which probes organised crime. However, it is understood no charges have been brought in relation to his conduct.

The Times & Speaker revealed details of his sacking by the council in February 2010, prompting a complaint by council leader Jim McCabe to the Standards Commission for Scotland.

Councillor McCabe accused Mossend and Holytown councillor Paul Delaney of leaking a report about the private disciplinary hearing to the press.

This prompted the Standards Commission to investigate, with the Government-funded body demanding that Times & Speaker chief reporter Mike McQuaid reveal the source of his information.

The journalist, backed by his employers, refused despite the threat of a jail sentence for contempt of court.

The Standards Commission subsequently failed in a legal bid to have his notebook seized as evidence.

An inquiry was held at Motherwell Civic Centre in September at which Mr McQuaid again refused to name his source.

Despite his stance, a three-man Standards Commission panel ruled there was enough evidence to convict Councillor Delaney of breaking the councillors’ code of conduct in relation to confidentiality.

The councillor was banned from council meetings for three months.