KIRKLEES Council leader Mehboob Khan is set to appear before a judge to answer claims that he meddled with Freedom of Information (FOI) responses.
The council launched a probe into Clr Khan’s conduct last year following allegations he had been interfering with FOI requests from the public.
Everyone has the right to request information held by public sector organisations under the Freedom of Information Act and politicians are not supposed to influence the responses.
Now, more than a year into the inquiry, the council’s Consideration Sub-Committee has decided it would be better heard by a First Tier Tribunal, rather than a panel of local councillors.
A date for tribunal is yet to be fixed.
Kirklees’ Chief Executive, Adrian Lythgo, said: “This move will mean that the matter will inevitably go on for several more months.
“However, having considered the investigation report, and the current changes being adopted in the standards regime at a national level, the Consideration Sub-Committee felt that the First Tier Tribunal was the most appropriate way forward.”
Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies which decide disputes in a particular area of law.
The First Tier Tribunal (Local Government Standards in England), was introduced in 2010.
It rules over the conduct of members of local authorities and has the power to suspend or disqualify them.
It is usually held before a judiciary comprising judges and local government legal experts.
Judges could be legally qualified members of the previous tribunal system or even High Court, Court of Appeal or District judges.