Coun Peter Coupland found guilty of misconduct after hearing into 'inappropriate comments and actions'
A leading member of South Holland District Council faces an uncertain future after misconduct allegations were upheld against him.
Fleet district councillor Peter Coupland was found guilty of bringing "his office into disrepute" and behaving in an "inappropriate manner" towards a council colleague.
The findings of a report into complaints made against Coun Coupland, the council's portfolio holder for finance, were published today after a complaint was made about his behaviour during a visit to London in October 2018.
According to the report by Suffolk Joint Standards Board, following a disciplinary hearing on July 4, Coun Coupland had been accused of making "inappropriate comments that had sexual connotations attached to them".
The complaint went on to allege that Coun Coupland "placed his arm around" a woman and "pulled her towards him" while a photograph was being taken.
Coun Coupland's action made the woman "feel uncomfortable and caused her distress".
A three-man panel made up of Suffolk-based councillors concluded that Coun Coupland's behaviour was "inappropriate, showing a lack of respect and leadership that was essential to his office".
In response, Coun Coupland said: "A lot of work has been done to make sure it was a fair and impartial hearing and, at the end of the day, I am pleased with the findings of the panel."