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Disciplinary Panel Hearings

25 JUN. 2009

Mr Anthony Dunn - 24 June 2009

Case of
Anthony Dunn, Bucks, SL7

at
RICS, Parliament Square, London, UK

on
24 June 2009

Charges

The formal charge is:

  1. That you did not at all times act with integrity and avoid conflicts of interest and any actions or situations that are inconsistent with your professional obligations, in that on 12 June the Adjudication Panel for England made a determination criticising your conduct as the holder of a publicly elected office and disqualifying you from holding a similar office for a year; and that you were dismissed from a senior post with Surrey County Council for failing to inform the Council as your employer of  the  Adjudication Panel decision.  Contrary to Rule 3 of the Rules of Conduct for Members 2007
  2. That you did not at all times conduct yourself in accordance with the core values of membership of the Institution as set out in Rule 3 of the Rules of Conduct 2004, in that in December 2006 the Local Standards Hearing Panel for Wycombe District Council found that you had used your position as a member of the Council improperly. Contrary to Rule 3 of the Rules of Conduct 2004.

The Panel therefore found the charge proved.

Mr Dunn has admitted both of the allegations as set out in the formal charge detailed in the Notice of Disciplinary Panel Hearing dated 24 June 2009.  The Committee has determined that Mr Dunn is liable for disciplinary proceedings in respect of the first allegation.

Mr Dunn has used his position as a Councillor in the public sector to seek to influence for personal or client gain on two occasions within a period of months.  He was found guilty, firstly, by the Local Standards Hearing Panel for Wycombe District Council in December 2006 and in June 2007 he was disqualified from holding a publicly elected office for a period of 1 year by the Adjudication Panel for the Standards Board for England.  He then took employment with Surrey County Council but was suspended from this post when Surrey discovered the details of his earlier suspension.

Determination On Penalty

The Panel has taken account of the mitigation put forward today by Mr Dunn and the evidence of Councillor Clark, the Leader of Wycombe District Council, as to the value she had placed on Mr Dunn’s professional advice and his judgement on issues when they worked together.

The Panel has looked at the relevant Codes of Conduct for the periods in question and noted, to Mr Dunn’s detriment, that this case involved improper attempts to influence a planning application where his client had an interest in the outcome, a serious breach of the local codes of conduct for Wycombe District Council, and a lack of transparency in his dealings with Surrey County Council and in his response to questions from RICS.

The Panel has concluded that these issues were errors of commission rather than omission.  Mr Dunn has held himself out in public life as a Chartered Surveyor and his behaviour has clearly brought the Institution into disrepute and damaged the reputation of the profession.

The Panel have decided to impose a disciplinary penalty.  It considered whether to impose a caution, reprimand or fine Mr Dunn, but decided that the seriousness of the charges, together with the repeated nature of Mr Dunn’s wrongdoing, meant that this would have been inappropriate in the circumstances.  The Panel has also considered whether an undertaking would be appropriate, but has concluded that Mr Dunn has not displayed the necessary insight into these matters to make this a realistic or appropriate sanction.

The Panel has concluded that the issues admitted and found proved before it are so serious that an order for expulsion should be made.  This marks the fact that Mr Dunn’s behaviour was so reprehensible that this is the appropriate and proportionate penalty.

Determination on publication and costs

The Panel has decided that this determination should be published in accordance with RICS’s policy for the publication of disciplinary matters.

The Panel makes an order that Mr Dunn will pay RICS their costs of £4780.00.

Finally, the Panel reminds Mr Dunn that he has a right of appeal within 28 days under Rule 59 of the Disciplinary Registration and Appeal Panel Rules 2008.