A TOP councillor has been cleared after a probe into his part in the rebuilding of a Huddersfield school.
Clr John Smithson, Kirklees Council's deputy leader, today condemned the inquiry as a waste of public money.
He was speaking after the Standards Board for England rejected a complaint by another councillor.
The unnamed protester said Clr Smithson had misused his position when the site for a new Moldgreen Community Primary School was being chosen.
Clr Smithson, a Liberal Democrat for Almondbury, said in advance of official consultations that he was against Ravensknowle Park being used.
Campaigners favouring the park site said his remarks made a mockery of the council's exercise to seek public views.
They said it indicated that the council Cabinet had already made up its mind.
After an investigation, the standards board said Clr Smithson was not guilty of acting improperly and had not misused his position.
The watchdog cleared him of any breach of the code of conduct for councillors.
A spokeswoman said: "The ethical standards officer found no evidence of any failure to comply with the code of conduct."
Clr Smithson said today: "I am very pleased the standards board has reached this conclusion.
"But I am very disappointed the issue was reported to the board in the first place. It was clearly politically motivated.
"It will have cost the taxpayer a significant sum because of the detailed investigation which the standards board was obliged to carry out," he added.
"Councillors should think very carefully before attempting to use the standards board for political purposes - and at the resulting cost to the taxpayer."
The council's Cabinet decided in the end that a £4.5m replacement should be built on the school's present site in The Avenue.
A temporary school will be built on part of Ravensknowle Park while work goes ahead.