Questions remain over how Brian Conlon was put in charge of recruiting a new chief executive at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) last March — a position he himself secured.
Mr Conlon held the position for four months before stepping down in December amid controversy over top-up payments paid to a number of senior staff — most notably his predecessor, Paul Kiely.
Mr Conlon had previously been a member of the board of governors and was appointed to its two-man recruitment committee when Mr Kiely announced he was retiring.
“You were an integral part of that recruitment process, but you wanted the job,” John Deasy (FG) said to him at a meeting of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week.
But Mr Conlon said he didn’t become interested in the job at that point. “It wasn’t until I saw the internal advertisement,” he said.
When it was put to him that he, as one half of the recruitment team, would have put that job spec together, he said that was done by a private recruitment agency MERC.
It then emerged that Mr Conlon attended a meeting of the CRC board on June 10 in which his appointment as chief executive was unanimously approved by the directors.
But, he told the PAC that he absented himself from any discussions at that meeting.
Asked by Simon Harris (FG) if the concept of him being a member of the board that sanctioned his own appointment, raised issues about corporate governance, Mr Conlon said: “Probably, in hindsight.”
Barry O’Brien, national director of human resources of the HSE, said it received a letter from the CRC on April 24, 2013, informing it that Mr Kiely was stepping down.
“The next thing we heard about it was when the appointment was made,” he said.