Conduct Panel finds against Cr Bradford: Issued 19 September 2012
MEDIA RELEASE: 19 September 2012
At its Council meeting of 18 September 2012, the City of Casey considered the Councillor Conduct Panel’s findings into the conduct of Mayfield Ward Councillor Kevin Bradford.
In April 2012, Council resolved to refer 18 alleged matters concerning the conduct of Cr Bradford to a Councillor Conduct Panel, formed by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).
In its Notice of Determination to Council, the Panel confirmed that Cr Bradford’s conduct constitutes as misconduct in respect to three matters.
Furthermore, the Councillor Conduct Panel has directed Cr Bradford to take leave of absence for two months commencing midnight 18 September 2012, and to undertake 24 hours of professional development programs concerning Councillor responsibilities.
City of Casey Mayor, Cr Sam Aziz said the Council was committed to transparency and good governance, and was pleased with the outcome.
‘By requesting the MAV to form a Councillor Conduct Panel, the Council brought these matters to the fore and dealt with them in a rigorous, transparent fashion.
‘An independent panel comprising of two people appointed by the MAV, considered evidence from 30 witnesses over a five day period.
‘Council has full confidence in the process, which has dealt with misconduct by Cr Bradford and also provided the avenue for consideration by Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) of the more serious matter of serious misconduct.’
The Panel found that there are reasonable grounds on which VCAT may make a finding to serious misconduct against Cr Bradford.
‘Council will now make an application to VCAT for a finding of serious misconduct in relation to two matters involving Cr Bradford,’ said Cr Aziz.
These matters were also considered in the damning Ombudsman’s report in 2010 where the Ombudsman found that Cr Bradford had misused his position as a Councillor.
At its meeting, Council resolved the following:
- 1. That in view of the Councillor Conduct Panel’s determination that there are reasonable grounds on which the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) may make a finding of serious misconduct against Cr Bradford, Council makes application to VCAT for a finding of serious misconduct in respect of the following matters:
(a) The course of conduct engaged in by the respondent in respect of Ms Ros Weadman in March 2009 concerning access to commercial-in-confidence information relating to Star News Limited and the Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia and the Cranbourne GP Wave Off event.
(b) The disclosure, made in about August 2009, by the respondent of commercially sensitive information to Mr Peter Strachan of Leader Newspapers Pty Ltd concerning the appointment of Star News Ltd as media partner for the said GP Wave Off event.
- That Council notes the findings of the Councillor Conduct Panel that Cr Bradford’s conduct constitutes misconduct within the meaning of Section 81A of the Local Government Act 1989, in respect to:
(a) Bullying and verbal abuse of former Councillor Janet Halsall throughout her year as Mayor 2007-2008 (Allegation 5);
(b) Use of foul and inappropriate language in the Council Chamber over an extended period of time right up to the present date which has been directed at other Councillors and which indicates a complete lack of respect for the Council and the Chamber (Allegation 17);
(c) Harassment and bullying of the CEO of the City of Casey from 2006 until the present date resulting in the undermining of the role of the CEO, and the subsequent waste of Council resources in responding to unjustified claims (Allegation 18).
and that the Councillor Conduct Panel:
- Directs Cr Bradford to take leave of absence for two months commencing at midnight on 18 September 2012.
- Directs Cr Bradford to undertake and successfully complete 24 hours of professional development programs within six months concerning Councillor responsibilities, including:
(a) bullying and harassment awareness;
(b) approaches to good governance; and
(c) engagement with the local community.
Download the Councillor Conduct Panel’s Notice of Determination.