Controversial former Fianna Fail senator and Junior Minister Ivor Callely is to face a legal investigation into his mobile phone expense claims after buying handsets from a company that didn’t exist!
Callely hit the headlines last year when it was revealed he had claimed mileage expenses to the Irish senate from his holiday home in West Cork – despite living in Dublin.
Now, a file on his mobile phone expenses has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
The former senator faces possible charges after it emerged that he claimed €2,907 in expenses in 2007 for the purchase of mobile phones from a company that had ceased trading in 1994.
The decision to refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions was made by the Senate’s Committee on Members’ Interests after it received two complaints from the public.
An inquiry officer appointed by the commission has recommended that Callely has a case to answer and the DPP action has been authorised by the commission as he is no longer a serving politician.
“Having considered the report, the standards commission formed the opinion that senator Callely may have committed an offence relating to the performance of his functions as a member,” said a statement from the commission.
“Accordingly, it furnished a report in the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions as required by section 24 (2) of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995.
“As Mr Callely ceased to be a member of Seanad Éireann on April 25th, the commission no longer had jurisdiction in the matter and its investigation has been discontinued.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions will now examine Callely’s claim for €2,907 in expenses for mobile phone handsets and car kits purchased from a company called Business Communications Limited between 2002 and 2005.
The company had ceased trading in 1994, eight years before Callely’s earliest claim.
The claims date from the time when Callely was a junior minister in the Fianna Fail led government.
A close associate of Bertie Ahern, Callely was forced to step down as a Minister of State in 2005 when it emerged that his home had been decorated free of charge by a building company in the 1980s.
He lost his seat in the Irish parliament in 2007 and did contest the Dail or Senate elections earlier this year.