The Guildford Council is denying responsibility for former Councillor Monika Juneja, who was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years on May 11 for pretending to be a barrister.
The council stated that it had carried out its obligations by commissioning an independent investigation after receiving complaints regarding the Conservative ex-councillor in December 2013.
“Monika Juneja is no longer a Guildford Borough Councillor, having stepped down at the local elections in May 2015,” the council said. “Juneja was never employed as a member of staff at Guildford Borough Council.”
The court heard that Juneja had used her forged qualifications to work at Bromley, Tower Hamlets, Brighton, and other councils as a lawyer, as well as taking on council officer roles, which she was believed to be qualified for.
At the time of her arrest, Juneja was the Guildford’s councillor in charge of planning and she was responsible for overseeing plans to build hundreds of homes.
The council first received complaints about Juneja in December 2013 and the complaints were so severe that the council commissioned Dr Robin Hooper to investigate in January 2014.
Based on the documents provided to him, as well as information provided by The Bar Council, Dr Hooper concluded that no breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct had taken place and that the Conservative councilor could remain in her position.
Following Dr Hooper’s decision, members of the public reported the case to the Surrey police, who exposed the former councillors deception.
Juneja was arrested in May and as a result she did not stand for re-election during last months General Election.
In a statement from the Council’s Corporate Governance and Standards committee said: “The Council has suffered severe reputational damage.
“However, there was no evidence that Juneja influenced council policy in an inappropriate manner or that the council suffered any financial loss because of her deception, which related to events before she became a councillor.”