Barnet Conservative cabinet member Dean Cohen cleared of lying allegations

Dean Cohen previously said he had nothing to hide

But Councillor Coleman described his successor's actions as "outrageous"

First published in News
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A senior politician accused of lying in the council chamber did not breach the members' code of conduct, an investigation has found.

Councillor Dean Cohen faced a panel of senior council representatives yesterday over claims made by his predecessor Councillor Brian Coleman.

The Conservative cabinet member was accused of misleading full council when he failed to explain that he had not attended the last two meetings of the North London Waste Authority, on which he represents the authority and at which important decisions regarding the borough were being made.

When asked how he had voted on the subject of procurement for waste disposal at the latest meeting, Councillor Cohen refused, pointing to confidentiality rules.

But records show he was not at the meeting at all - or the previous one - and the NLWA committee was forced to approve an extension to the six-month absence limit for members before they are expelled.

His predecessor, former Tory and now independent councillor Brian Coleman, claimed the environment portfolio holder was not being open and honest and made a complaint to the council’s monitoring officer.

The monitoring officer concluded the matter should be taken to a formal process, but the group leader’s panel yesterday cleared Councillor Cohen of wrongdoing.

Councillor Cohen previously said he had nothing to hide. But Councillor Coleman described his successor’s actions as “the most outrageous behaviour from a councillor I have witnessed at a council meeting”.

Comments (5)

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6:47pm Thu 13 Mar 14

nlygo says...

Hell hath no fury like Brian Coleman scorned.
Hell hath no fury like Brian Coleman scorned. nlygo
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

Cllr Coleman describes Cllr Cohen's conduct as "the most outrageous behaviour from a councillor I have witnessed at a council meeting”. Surely Lady Palmer's knitting is worse?
Cllr Coleman describes Cllr Cohen's conduct as "the most outrageous behaviour from a councillor I have witnessed at a council meeting”. Surely Lady Palmer's knitting is worse? Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Mr Reasonable says...

Not lying but perhaps "economical with the actualite". Surely we should expect more from our local politicians.
Not lying but perhaps "economical with the actualite". Surely we should expect more from our local politicians. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 4

4:15pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

So Brain Coleman describes Dean Cohen's actions as “the most outrageous behaviour from a councillor I have witnessed at a council meeting”. The worse "pot', "kettle" and "black" come to mind.
So Brain Coleman describes Dean Cohen's actions as “the most outrageous behaviour from a councillor I have witnessed at a council meeting”. The worse "pot', "kettle" and "black" come to mind. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 2

8:01am Sun 16 Mar 14

Hunted999 says...

I love the ambiguity of this article. It seems to suggest that no judgement has been made on Cllr. Cohen's truthfulness but that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The message I take from that is that it has given a green light for councillors to carry on with politician-speak and demonstrates the flaw in the process of allowing politicians to sit in judgement of politicians rather than an independent body. Still Cllr Coleman has benefited from this on numerous occasions so he can hardly complain now.

...and they wonder why most of us don't bother to vote. If it's not snouts in the trough, it's morals!
I love the ambiguity of this article. It seems to suggest that no judgement has been made on Cllr. Cohen's truthfulness but that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The message I take from that is that it has given a green light for councillors to carry on with politician-speak and demonstrates the flaw in the process of allowing politicians to sit in judgement of politicians rather than an independent body. Still Cllr Coleman has benefited from this on numerous occasions so he can hardly complain now. ...and they wonder why most of us don't bother to vote. If it's not snouts in the trough, it's morals! Hunted999
  • Score: 2

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