The political fate of a Perthshire councillor fined for election fraud hangs in the balance.
Leader of Perth and Kinross Council Ian Miller said he is seeking a legal opinion on what procedures to follow regarding Alan Jack.
The Courier understands that Jack, 74, of the Stables, Bridge of Earn, has met the council’s chief executive Bernadette Malone to discuss how he surpassed his allocated election budget by £850.64.
Jack was fined £450 at Perth Sheriff Court last week after he admitted incurring election expenses exceeding the maximum limit between March 22 and May 26 last year.
On Monday, Mr Miller said the local authority usually looks to the Representation of the People Act for guidance on election fraud but understands this only applies in England.
“The legal position is not clear and we’re seeking legal opinion,” he said. “I’m not a lawyer and I need clear guidance. We’re still looking at the situation regarding Councillor Jack.”
However, a spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission confirmed that it gives guidance according to the Representation of the People Act and, because Jack had admitted the offence and been fined at court, the matter was “done and dusted”.
She added: “This has been applied by Perth Sheriff Court but there may be internal procedures used by Perth and Kinross Council.”
Jack, who won the Almond and Earn ward last year, had failed to comply with guidelines that set a spending limit of £1,215.36.
He did not wish to comment on the matter.
Mr Miller previously said the electoral fraud “may result” in a by-election in the ward.