Newton Mearns community council chairman David Jesner was officially reprimanded by ERC after a public spat with councillor Danny Devlin in the council chambers.
Mr Jesner admits to calling Cllr Devlin “thick as mince”, but says that he felt slandered by Cllr Devlin’s comments during a meeting of the full council held in January last year.
However Cllr Devlin says that he had no choice but to issue a complaint against Mr Jesner, who he claims speaks with a “forked tongue”.
The bust-up was sparked by public comments made by both men at the meeting which was attended and witnessed by a full public gallery.
The exchange led to Mr Jesner reporting Cllr Devlin to the standard commission which oversees councillors’ conduct, where he was found not guilty of the charges against him.
Now the full details of the subsequent investigations have came to light, with Mr Jesner claiming he was never given the right to defend himself before being told that he could be marked as a “violent” person.
He said: “The first I knew of a complaint against me was when a letter fell through my door, ‘advising’ me that I had been made the subject of a complaint.
“I find the entire thing a bit bizarre as I was actually attempting to have some of the lies stated about me by Mr Devlin at this meeting struck from the minutes.” It is claimed that, at the meeting on January 29, while the council discussed major developments in the Newton Mearns area.
Around 120 members of the public turned out to oppose the plans to build on land at Maidenhead in Newton Mearns.
However, during the meeting Mr Jesner’s objection to the plans were highlighted by Cllr Devlin, who claimed that Mr Jesner wished to build several hundred homes on green belt, while also “claiming to be against any greenbelt development.” He later received a letter warning him that a violent warning marker (VWM) could be placed against his name after he was found guilty of directing abuse at an elected member of East Renfrewshire Council.
Mr Jesner continued: “The claims were made around land which I don’t own at Ryatt Farm and Patterton Farms in Newton Mearns, and they simply aren’t true, it’s complete rubbish in fact.
“At the close of the meeting I jumped to my feet and spoke loudly to request that Cllr Devlin apologise for these lies against my name, and that his exact comments be properly minuted.
“Cllr Devlin was sitting not far from me, and turned around and waved the report in my face, telling me that it was not lies and that it was ‘all in the papers, read them’.
“I responded: ‘No, you read them Danny. Oh no you can’t, you’re as thick as mince.’ “A few people laughed at that, including Devlin.
“However, when I was given this warning a few months after, I was further outraged as I was given no way to defend myself, or even made aware that an investigation was under way.
“There is no way that the manner in which it was carried out would have stood up in a court of law.
“The council has yet again shown its blatant disregard for following guidelines, law or even basic human rights, such as that of a fair trial.” However Cllr Devlin has claimed that Mr Jesner’s comments went further than claimed, going as far as to warn him to “watch his back”.
Speaking to The News, Cllr Devlin said: “Not only did he insult me, he also warned me to ‘watch my back’ which is the part I found threatening.
“This is a man who on one hand claims to be the great saviour of the greenbelt, and seeks to develop hundreds of homes on countryside with the other — let the readers decide who is thick as mince here.
“This man took me to the standards commission, where I was cleared of any wrongdoing, simply for seeking to find out the true facts behind Mr Jesner’s plans for development on greenbelt.
“David Jesner is a man who speaks with a forked tongue.” An East Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said: ““There are four current violent marker warnings (VMW) in place. These are not given out lightly and individuals who are issued with these have the right of appeal.
“We have a duty to protect our staff from inappropriate behaviour. The VWM system is in place to help minimise the potential for staff to be subjected to violence at work.”