"On behalf of the Committee of 100."On Open Letter Regarding Standards of Fidelity at Glasgow City Council
Dear Gordon Matheson,
Dear Gordon Matheson,
You will perhaps have heard of the sorry tale of the footballer Garry O'Connor who was sentenced to a community payback order for possession of Cocaine; the financier David Fleming who was fined and placed on the sex offenders register for a public indecency on Sauchiehall Street; the J&M Services company run by Mervyn Johnston and Joe McFall which rightly had to pay out £27,000 for sexual harassment, and of Susan Forsyth the Glasgow social worker who fraudulently claimed benefits and was ordered to pay 20,000. The public too have heard of Stephen Purcell and his 'chemical dependency' but not of the other allegations which were made of him, of Gilbert Davidson and his ongoing record of sexual harassment and sexual assault, of Stephen Curran and Ann McTaggart and their public liaisons, and of Ruth Black and the money which went missing under her administration of an LGBT centre, and indeed of you, and the events for which you say you are sorry.
What they perhaps have not heard is that each of your team escaped prosecution for very similar misdemeanors. Standards of fidelity in public life are not about how you choose to enjoy yourselves privately. They are about holding you to promises you have made, to standards that government expects all citizens to follow, and they are about financial probity as we invest power in you to look after our public finances. What again perhaps most people have not heard is that Councillor Paul Rooney from your team is a former Depute 'Fiscal. Given the tremendous good luck that none of the misdemeanours committed by your team resulted in prosecutions this raises some serious concerns with regard to the separation of the local state and the local Scottish Justiciary.
Such fabulous good fortune however may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the way your administration handled the corrupt payout to Ronnie Saez after was it was exposed beyond doubt by the charities regulator as indeed corrupt and immoral. While they stated that they were not in a position to prosecute because it was beyond their powers, we understand that citizens are considering a legal challenge after your response to this investigation was not only to fail to order the repayment of the £500,000, but to indicate that the Councillors responsible Cllr George Redmond and Cllr Jim Coleman (both from your team) would also go unpunished.
But even so, in your desire to turn over no stones, this bad politics is further compounded by your support for the waste incinerator being built in Polmadie, which is contrary to your plans surrounding combined heat and power. To hand over this plant to Viridor, under a deal approved by Robert Booth, then GCC director of land and environment who is the brother-in-law of a senior executive at Viridor, looks to be nothing short of scandalous insider trading - a fact you have overlooked, and continue to overlook despite it being pointed out.
Subsequent to our investigation of these facts the 100 Promises campaign has also been told a number of other apocryphal tales. Until these reports are corroborated we can't take them seriously but the fact that we cannot dismiss them as malicious rumours because of the wrongful actions that we can observe with certainty speaks volumes for the state of political fidelity in this city.
To that end and owing to the seemingly unendless tales we hear about financial irregularity at GCC we will be holding a public meeting in that part of the city that Ronnie Saez, George Redmond, and Jim Coleman robbed from (which your Council has allowed and endorsed) to present our findings.
We will of course invite you to defend your record. I will send full details to your office in due course. It provides us with no pleasure to be holding a meeting on this subject as we would rather be challenging you on other promises than your promise to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour but sadly your record as a council on these standards applying to yourself is now being called into question.