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Councillor awaits outcome of alleged code of conduct breach

Councillor Karen Toms is subject of an investigation into an alleged code of conduct violation. At last week’s council meeting, six of the valley’s councillors, Crs Williamson, Baker, Howe, Lysaught, McKenna and Simmons, debated Cr Toms’ fate in a closed session of council, as she waited outside the council chambers. Councillors resolved to consider the matter in ‘Committee of the Whole’ in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 Section 10A 2, “as the report [to council] contains information on alleged contraventions of any code of conduct requirements applicable under Section 440”. The press and the public were directed to leave the meeting. Councillors unanimously resolved to “defer further consideration of this matter, pending the receipt of additional information from the Office of Local Government, with regard to Sect 11 of Local Government Act 1993 and whether or not it overrides the [council’s] Code of Conduct”. Councillors also resolved, “That the Office of Local Government be provided with the final investigation report and the response tabled by the councillor [Toms] subject of the report, but each is to remain confidential until at least the matter comes back to council.” Councillor Toms is bound by the code of conduct to refrain from commenting publicly.