A FORMER Charmouth parish councillor has spoken out after he was cleared of breaching the council’s code of conduct following the appointment of his son-in-law as the council’s works manager.
Mallory Hayter, who at the time of the allegations in March 2013 had served more than 20 years as a parish councillor and chairman, told the Lyme Regis News that allegations made against him were “an orchestrated campaign to blacken his character”.
Last year, six councillors handed in their notice after the appointment of Paul Sayers – the son-in-law of Mr Hayter – as the council’s works manager in January 2013.
A formal complaint and allegation of misconduct against Mr Hayter was later made in August 2013, and Mr Hayter then retired from the council.
In a statement, Mr Hayter said: “I’ve done nothing wrong and I want the whole village to know that.
“The last 12 months haven’t been easy after an orchestrated campaign to blacken my character.
“What was said at the 2013 annual parish meeting about me and my family beggared belief.
“I hope no-one else ever has to go through what we endured because of my commitment as a councillor.”
He added: “The investigation by the monitoring officer after a complaint has proved my innocence.
“I was proud to serve the community for 23 years and my aim was always to get things done.”
The monitoring officer’s report states Mr Hayter was not personally involved in the formal advertising of the position, interviewing applicants, the appointment of the works manager or the general process.
The officer added: “I also find that in looking at the evidence provided to me, there are allegations which seem to have no substance at all and rely purely on hearsay or gossip through other parties.”
The parish council said that it is pleased the monitoring officer concluded no breach of conduct took place.
Sarah Edwards, a relative of Mr Hayter, told the Lyme Regis News that it is sad his record of public service ended in this way.
She added: “It’s ironic because I believe the reason the parish council hired a works manager was because they assessed the extra work Mallory did in the community and established this to be, in fact, a full time job in itself.
“This is not a case of stirring up old issues, but of setting the record straight and getting people to hear the final outcome.”