The councilor says to the head of the council in a meeting: “Don’t fuck me”
A candid Waverley councilor has been heard accusing the council’s chief executive of talking “b******” when he forgot to turn off his microphone on Zoom.
Opposition member Jerry Hyman told the boss “don’t fuck me” at a meeting attended by 30 councilors and officers last August.
He was brought before the standards committee for nearly three hours (June 28) and found guilty of breaching the code of conduct.
The Farnham Residents’ Councilor said he regretted the words but said council was ‘harassing’ him because he had long tried to ‘fight for candor’.
He said: ‘It’s about whether people are allowed to speak untruths without any recourse and whether someone is angry enough to be rude about it, or accidentally leaves their Zoom mic on – which we have all done at some point – then you are allowed to get away with the untruths and the person is dragged into a system at great expense for many months.
He asked that the standards committee be chaired by someone who was “not a Conservative party whip” and when chairman Michael Goodridge told him no, “It’s not political”, he said: “I might as well go home now, so I think”.
Cllr Hyman said that during a discussion about whether or not working from home had been debated by advisers, he was “goaded” by the chief executive “misleading members”.
“I think you’re in very dangerous territory,” Cllr Goodridge said.
Tom Horwood, who was not present on Tuesday, leads Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils combined on a salary of £150,000.
External investigator Richard Lingard said Cllr Hyman’s “advertising language” in the informal briefing was “not hopelessly offensive, but inappropriate and disrespectful”.
He said he failed to engage in the investigation process, to which Cllr Hyman said he ‘didn’t want to have another heart attack’, after suffering a major heart attack and suffering emergency surgery at Frimely Park Hospital the day after a council meeting. in 2017.
He asked the interviewer: “Do you accept that honesty takes precedence over this question of politeness?”
“If you don’t respect honesty, it’s the person who is wrong, not the person who complains about it.”
He asked the president: “What language would be appropriate in the circumstances where the general manager is pretending?
“I was the only person at that meeting who actually lived up to our duty under the Nolan Principles of Challenging Bad Behavior. And I’m the whistleblower who gets harassed.
“We can’t get a direct answer to a direct question in this advice.”
Supervisory officer Robin Taylor said: ‘He has the right to challenge, he has the right to constructively criticize; what he is not allowed to do is misbehave when he does.
“It is not the case that the general manager said any untruths and I want it on record that the general manager handled the interruption in a fair, calm and professional manner.”
The complaint against Cllr Hyman was filed by Liberal Democrat adviser John Robini.
Cllr Hyman apologized at the meeting at the time, but according to Mr Taylor it was only for his mistake to have been reactivated.
Cllr Hyman said he also apologized later in the meeting for the words he used; this was disputed by Mr. Taylor.
As the meeting was not held in public, the council did not record it.
The monitoring officer said it was not the first time he had spoken to Cllr Hyman, who also breached the code of conduct in 2019.
It was to accuse city officials of ‘misinforming’ councilors by ‘misquoting’ the EU Habitats Directive during planning committee meetings in 2016 and 2017.
Cllr Hyman said holding the panel hearing was a ‘total waste of public funds’ and asked how much it cost – but received no response.
“I just want to apologize to the public for where this went,” he said.
“I would like to apologize for not committing to it, but every time this happens it makes my blood boil.”
Cllr Goodridge said the amount spent was irrelevant and “justice must be done and seen to be done, whatever the cost”.
The panel, also made up of councilors Maxine Gale (independent) and Peter Marriott (residents of Farnham), decided to take no action on the breach, other than to publish their findings and report them to the council.