Shamed Aberdeen councillor Alan Donnelly has revealed he intends to defend his seat at the next election.
The Torry and Ferryhill member’s year-long ban for his sexual assault conviction will come to an end next week.
He refused this evening to speak to The P&J, citing the newspaper’s accurate and robust coverage of the outrage at his actions, his trial and subsequent disciplinary proceedings.
But, in an interview with BBC Scotland, the convicted sex offender has defended his decision not to resign – as well as vowing to stand again.
Former depute provost Donnelly said: “I was elected for five years in 2017 and intend to see that out.
“I plan to get on with the rest of my life.
“I have been convicted, I honestly believe I have been the subject of a miscarriage of justice. It has been a very challenging time.
“There is nothing in the legislation that says I should resign.
“I would not submit to being hounded out of office, witch-hunted out of office by people who know nothing about the circumstances.
“I do not pose a risk to my constituents, I have 41 years in public life.
“I have no intentions of resigning. I intend to stand again.”
Donnelly’s year-long ban coming to an end
Last November, the Standards Commission slapped Donnelly with a year-long ban, which was backdated when he was first suspended last March for his “wholly inappropriate” behaviour.
While suspended for the two breaches of the councillors’ code of conduct, he continued to receive his full pay – something the local authority has said is “a legal requirement and not a decision of the council”.
In December 2019, Sheriff Ian Wallace convicted Donnelly of sexual assault, a crime committed while attending a civic function in the city in November 2018.
Donnelly had denied the charges but was found guilty after trial of touching his victim’s face, hair and body and kissing him on the face.
He was sentenced to an eight-month supervision order, placed on the sex offenders register and ordered to pay his victim £800 in compensation.
Tories shut the door on Donnelly comeback
A spokesman for Donnelly’s former political party, the Conservatives, told The P&J he would not be one of their candidates in 2022.
“He’s no longer a member of the Conservative party and he will not be a Conservative at the next election.
“Conservative councillors in Aberdeen voted as part of the administration calling on councillor Donnelly to resign.”
Fierce critic hopes voters will reject Donnelly if he’s ‘foolish enough’ to stand
Liberal Democrat group leader on the council, Ian Yuill, was one of scores to report Donnelly to the Standards Commission, and led calls for him to resign.
He was stunned when asked to comment on the shamed councillor’s vow this evening.
Mr Yuill said: “Alan Donnelly’s arrogance and insensitivity know no end and his shameful criminal and shameful behaviour has brought the council and city into disrepute.
“And of course, every time he speak it risks causing further distress for his victim.
“If Donnelly had any decency at all, he would have resigned when he was convicted.
“I know the people of Torry and Ferryhill will reject him if he really is foolish enough to stand for re-election.”