24 Apr 2015

Councillor faces possible suspension

7:50 pm on 24 April 2015

A Dunedin city councillor could be suspended from all council committees for two months as punishment for what is described as unprofessional and bullying behaviour.

Lee Vandervis

Lee Vandervis Photo: Dunedin City Council

The council's conduct committee has accepted the validity of complaints against Lee Vandervis for yelling at council staff and misleading a council committee over comments about an investigation into council car fleet fraud.

The proposed suspension would stop him from voting but not from taking part in debates.

Mr Vandervis said he was innocent of the charge of misleading the committee and he has apologised for being loud.

He said the 'misleading' charge related to his assertion that an investigation into the theft of council cars was too narrow, and he stood by that claim.

The full council will consider the recommendation at its meeting next Tuesday.

"It's obviously designed to create reputational damage and to make me the issue rather the failure of the city and of the police to properly investigate themselves."

A Dunedin City Councillor said accusations of bullying and misleading behaviour were an attempt to distract attention from a failure to fully investigate the theft of council cars.

Dunedin City Council Civic Centre.

Dunedin City Council Civic Centre. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs