Laura Sharman 08 August 2014

Councillor disciplined for using council laptop to view pornography

A councillor has been disciplined after using his council laptop to view pornography, despite receiving a previous warning for the same offence.

Malcolm Gardner, a councillor for Swaledale Ward at Richmondshire District Council, was found to have breached the council’s code of conduct after using the council laptop to access pornographic material.

A disciplinary panel heard that he had already been warned about viewing inappropriate material back in 2012.

Despite this, he had continued to access pornographic or sexually explicit material over the past two years.

Following the meeting, Cllr Gardner has been ordered to return the laptop back to the council and has been forced to apologise the members of staff who discovered the material on the computer.

John Blackie, council leader and independent group leader, said: 'I'm very disappointed that his conduct has fallen below the level that would be expected of a local councillor.

'He was given a last warning in respect of his use of the council laptop by myself as his leader and by the officer.

'I am disappointed that he has chosen to overlook that warning but I am sure that he has learnt his lesson.

'He is a hard working local councillor and I know from my own experience that he goes the extra mile for the local communities which he represents.'

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