Colleagues kept waiting for former Leicestershire County Council leader David Parsons' formal apology
Ex-county council leader David Parsons has still to formally apologise for breaching rules over his European travel expenses – more than three months after being instructed to do so.
The Tory politician was censured by County Hall's standards committee in June for breaching the councillors' code of conduct over his expenses for trips to Europe.
Although he apologised when he appeared before the committee, he was also ordered to say sorry in writing.
Yesterday, the county council's corporate governance committee was told Coun Parsons had not fulfilled the condition of apologising as required.
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He is now to be sent a letter by officers reminding him of the need to do so.
Conservative committee member Peter Osborne said it was unacceptable his former leader had not met the conditions set down by the standards ruling.
He said: "For a member not to take any notice of the process makes the sanction seem lacklustre.
"If you want to ignore them, you ignore them and you can do that without peril if you have a thick skin.
"For a member to be able to disregard any sanction put across his bows seems unacceptable.
"It seems pointless as a process if there is no bite to it."
Liberal Democrat committee member Bill Boulter is also concerned.
He said: "A letter of apology should have been done soon after the hearing. There ought to have been a recommendation that it be done in a certain period of time."
The standards committee found Coun Parsons "disregarded four key principles – honesty, integrity, accountability and leadership".
He held on to money he was paid for trips to Europe on council business, which he should have promptly refunded to the authority.
At one stage, more than £5,000 that should have been repaid had built up in his account.
A whistle-blower brought the matter to light.
Coun Parsons had said he would pay back any outstanding sums and did repay more than £2,300 to County Hall.
However, last week the Leicester Mercury revealed he still owed the authority cash for 39 trips to Europe between 2006 and 2011.
He had been driven to airports or rail stations at the county council's expense so he could make trips for the Committee of the Regions (CoR), on which he sat.
The county council said Coun Parsons then claimed money back from the CoR, which was paid directly to him, but did not then pass it back to the authority, which had funded the travel.
The Mercury was told by a source it was understood to be about £2,000.
However, yesterday, Brian Roberts, the council's director of corporate resources, said the figure was higher.
He told the committee: "We are working out the cost for those (39 trips). The figure is looking at being between £4,000 and £5,000 for those outstanding journeys."
He said an invoice was being prepared for Coun Parsons.
Coun Parsons said he had not yet issued the apology because he was in discussions with council officers about its wording.
He said the delay was down to the fact the council monitoring officer had not initially written to him during the period he could appeal against the committee findings, and then the holiday period fell.
He said: "The apology will be coming very soon."
He again denied he owed any further money, saying he had not been paid by the CoR for the 39 trips, with the exception of a mistake in October 2006 when he received 80 euros.