Complaint against deputy mayor over CEO reprisal dismissed
Maranoa Regional Council deputy mayor Geoff McMullen has been cleared from any wrongdoing by the Office of Independent Assessor regarding the discussion around terminating CEO Julie Reitano’s employment contract.
In the first council meeting with the newly elected councillors on April 22, 2020, Cr McMullen seconded mayor Tyson Golder’s motion to terminate Ms Reitano’s employment contract.
The allegation against Cr McMullen investigated by the OIA stated that at the time Cr McMullen had a personal interest in the matter, namely that Ms Reitano had referred a complaint about their conduct to the OIA.
The allegation stated that Cr McMullen did not declare that personal interest in the meeting and that he breached section 150AW of the Act, namely taking reprisal against a protected person.
The OIA decided to take no further action against the deputy mayor pursuant to the Local Government Act 2009, citing that it would be ‘unjustifiable use of resources to investigate the matter further’.
The OIA states that investigators did not find sufficient evidence to prove reprisal.
In relation to the conflict of interest, it was considered that the councillor’s interest in the matter was more ‘borderline’.