One of Aberdeen City Council’s most senior elected members is to appear before a watchdog over claims she breached confidentiality rules.
Marie Boulton, the local authority’s culture spokeswoman, has been accused of revealing sensitive financial information during a community council meeting in January 2019.
It is alleged this related to savings the local authority was going to have to make when setting its budget for the following year.
A hearing into Mrs Boulton’s conduct will be held by the Standards Commission for Scotland at Aberdeen Town House on September 8.
The body is responsible for ensuring councillors and board members of public organisations keep to a “high ethical standard”.
If it determines that Mrs Boulton did break the rules, it could sanction her by issuing a censure, or suspending or disqualifying her from the job.
Mrs Boulton is a member of the Independent Alliance group, which is part of the Aberdeen City Council administration.
She represents the Lower Deeside ward and is convener of its capital programme, licensing, planning development management and pre-application forum committees.
A spokeswoman for the Ethical Standards Commission said: “The allegation to be considered at the hearing is that Councillor Boulton breached paragraphs 3.16 and 3.17 of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct at a community council meeting in January, 2019, by disclosing confidential information about savings the council was required to make to address a gap in its budget for 2019-20.”
Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn, who was the council’s SNP group leader before resigning in January to focus on his Westminster role, said: “With the sloth like progress we have seen in the cases of Ms Boulton and Mr Donnelly (Councillor Alan Donnelly), the public will be wondering if the powers that be are asleep behind the wheel.”
Mrs Boulton said: “I can confirm that the Standards Commission has set a hearing for 8 September 2020.
“I will defend myself with vigour to allegations which in my opinion do not stand up to proper scrutiny.
“Once the papers from the Standards Commission are issued I will be seeking strong support from the media as this allegation against me goes right to the heart of democracy as the commissioner appears to think it is legitimate for the council to make papers confidential to avoid inappropriate media attention.
“This in my opinion is wrong and I trust the media will give me their backing once they examine the complaint against me and my response.”
Aberdeen City Council declined to comment.