Alderman Geert Post van Urk wants to defend himself in an extra council meeting tonight against the fierce criticism that an integrity investigation has voiced against him. He will let Omroep Flevoland know this.
The integrity investigation into the actions of Post at his son’s transport company found that he had acted contrary to the Municipalities Act and the municipality’s code of conduct. His behavior has also created the appearance of a conflict of interest. The conclusions seem to make Post’s position untenable. The integrity investigation has been conducted since August on the initiative of Mayor Ineke Bakker and the group chairmen.
Additional position in son transport company
Geert Post was discredited at the beginning of August, when it became known that he had never given up an additional position in his son’s transport company to the municipality. He was a transport manager at JPTRANS URK and the sole director of another BV of the company.
The researchers from the Necker van Naem office argue that not reporting the ancillary positions is contrary to the Municipalities Act. Post thereby disadvantaged the city council. Post’s explanation of whether he had forgotten to report the additional positions or whether it was not necessary is inadequate. “The alderman takes his own standard as his starting point and that can be attributed to him”, according to the report.
Moreover, his role was much greater than “the occasional ride”, as Post suggested. For example, for the past three to four years, he spent an average of 15 to 20 hours a week with the company as a transport manager. After restrictive measures came into effect in March due to the corona crisis, involvement only increased. Although the work was not at the expense of Post’s employability as an alderman, a fellow alderman has addressed him that his main task is the alderman.
Post involved in controversial drive to England
According to the investigation, Post made the arrangements “that will underlie the ride with flowers to the UK on July 29.” He made arrangements for this with the client of the flower transport in Rijnsburg. JP TRANS URK had approached that to ship flowers to addresses in London twice a week. The Urk company had been recommended to the client by another transport company. Until July 29, three flower rides had already been made.
According to the report, his son was not happy with the journeys to England, as he was not allowed to be present at the loading and unloading of the cargo. Geert Post then offered to ride the ride in question on July 29, but his son rejected that. During that trip, Post’s son was arrested near the border between France and England, when customs found 419 kilos of hard drugs in his truck.
Whether Geert Post knew that drugs were being smuggled, the investigation does not say. The researchers do say that there is a chance that Post will have to deal with a judicial investigation.
Appearance of conflict of interest
The investigation also finds that the appearance of a conflict of interest has existed due to Post’s role in his son’s company and his role as an alderman. This is its responsibility to enforce rules for the company premises, on which JP TRANS URK is located. This was especially the case when complaints came to the municipality through the Business Circle Urk about the parking of the company’s trucks on the public road of the company site.
Although the report states that no formal complaint has ever been submitted to the municipality about a conflict of interest, the researchers conclude on the basis of the Municipalities Act and code of conduct that Post has not taken sufficient distance. He failed to inform the Board of the matter and to transfer the file to another councilor. “The mere fact of the double involvement (…) means that Geert Post has not taken enough distance to prevent (the appearance of) a conflict of interest as an alderman.”
Also double cap for land purchase by son
According to the report, there has also been a conflict of interest around the purchase of land by his son. He was at the top of the municipality’s waiting list to be able to buy land for his company. Geert Post has stated that he had his son placed lower on the waiting list, precisely to prevent the impression that the son would benefit from his father’s alderman.
Nevertheless, the researchers argue that there has been too little distance between private involvement and his alderman status. He has acted contrary to the code of conduct of the municipality of Urk itself.
Issue damages the municipality
In summary, the bureau concludes that the performance of the ancillary positions by Post has caused damage to the municipality. The involvement of Post in the transport of July 29 also causes damage to the municipality: “Due to the involvement of the alderman in the company, the municipality of Urk has become involved in an issue that the municipality has nothing to do with.”
The agency notes that it was pointed out during the investigation that Post’s behavior is not unusual in Urk. “The sentence: ‘I would do the same to help my son’ also came up regularly.” According to Necker van Naem, there was insufficient awareness that an alderman as a representative of the government should set an example in the public interest.
Geert Post will defend himself tonight
The city council of Urk will talk tonight about the report and the position of Post, who resigned his position on August 6.
In a short telephone response to Omroep Flevoland, Post indicates that he will be present at this meeting to defend himself. According to him, there are too great differences between what the researchers have reconstructed and the conclusions they have drawn from it.
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