Two Hilltops councillors censured after investigation

Two Hilltops Shire councillors have been referred to the Office of Local Government.

Councillors Matthew Stadtmiller and John Walker were referred to the Office after failing to give a public apology after what council determined in March this year was a breach of Section 440G of the Local Government Act which involves misconduct.

Cr Stadtmiller was called on to issue a formal apology to Council and Council employees, in an open session of Council, "for the harm his dissemination of information and adverse comments published concerning their work, in a publication" owned by him.

When he was called on to issue the apology at a council meeting Cr Stadtmiller said he would be seeking further advice and opted not to deliver the apology.

Cr Walker took the same stance saying he believed the matter should be dealt with in closed committee.

The matters were initially dealt with in closed council committee in March but Council made the matter public.

Council had also recommended Councillor Stadtmiller be counselled by a suitably qualified person of the General Manager's choosing regarding, but not limited to his obligations as a Councillor and the implications of noncompliance on himself, the Council, employees, stakeholders and the community.

Councillor Stadtmiller was censured after "publishing, or causing, or facilitating the publication of confidential material (Library Site Diagram) in the Twin Town Times, on 26 June 2018, and the lack of due diligence and apparent reckless disregard for maintaining the confidentiality of Council information".

Councillor Walker was also formally censured and called on to issue a public apology

He was censured "for the harm his dissemination of information and adverse comments on the actions or inactions of other Councillors and employees may have caused to those groups and the Council as a whole".

It was also recommended Councillor Walker be counselled.

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