Council dispute is now resolved
LOCKYER Valley Mayor Steve Jones has been found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct after confronting a Gatton resident during an open council meeting.
Cr Jones was investigated by the Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure and Planning after a complaint was lodged in late July by National Tree Day committee member Peter O'Brien.
Mr O'Brien claimed he was unfairly targeted by Cr Jones when he appeared in front of Lockyer Valley Regional Council to make a presentation on National Tree Day.
At the end of the presentation, Cr Jones confronted Mr O'Brien over an email that referred to the clearing of the western island of Lake Apex, for which the council had earlier this year been fined.
The document was written by council's former CEO Colin O'Connor and was his account of the events leading up to the tree clearing.
Cr Jones accused Mr O'Brien of circulating the document which did not contain factual information.
Cr Jones told the department during the investigation that he believed Mr O'Brien was working with Mr O'Connor to “try and get back at him for issues that had occurred in the past”.
The Director-General found that Cr Jones had not engaged in offensive conduct by using inappropriate language or overtly threatening behaviour.
However, the investigation found it was inappropriate for Cr Jones to raise the issue with Mr O'Brien during the council meeting.
“I think I am disappointed that the only thing they can pin on me that I discussed something that was not on the council's agenda,” Cr Jones said.
“But I am thankful for the support I have received.”
Mr O'Brien said he originally wanted an apology from the investigation but said he was happy with the outcome.