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Barnet Conservative cabinet member Dean Cohen cleared of lying allegations
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”.
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