Thursday 20th April 2017

SIPO finds former Waterford Charity Director submitted duplicate expense claims.

SIPO finds former Waterford Charity Director submitted duplicate expense claims.

The Standards Commission has found that a Waterford member of the board of the former family Support Agency contravened ethics legislation. Richard Hickey was found to have submitted duplicate claims worth over 50 thousand euro from both the Agency and the Saint Brigids Family Resource Centre in Waterford for attendance at the same events. The Commission determined, that the double claiming of expenses was committed intentionally. In 1999, Mr Hickey was appointed to the position of Director of St. Brigids. In his evidence to a hearing, he said the Centre expanded substantially and from 2010 to 2012, he was working about 700 hours more than the 900 hours he was scheduled. Mr Hickey said he applied for a position as a Board member of the Agency and was appointed in his own right and not as a representative of St Brigid's. At the hearing Mr Hickey said he now agreed that what he did was not consistent with the proper carrying out of his function as a member of the family support agency. In his evidence he said he became aware in April 2013 that an audit was to be conducted and met the auditor for the Centre, Barry Kennedy, and admitted the duplicate claiming of expenses was between €40,000 and €50,000. In August 2013 he met with board members where it was proposed that Mr Hickey pay back €25,000 and retire, which he did.