Mitcham councillor Karen Hockley breached multiple codes of conduct when she implied her colleagues were racist in a Facebook post, a legal investigation has found.
Reported by The Advertiser, the Local Government Governance Panel launched a $6000 investigation Cr Hockley, finding that she breached four codes of conduct last year.
She will be forced to apologise to councillors Lindy Taeuber and Adriana Christopoulos – and former councillor Jasmine Berry, who resigned following the Facebook spat.
Cr Hockley last June made a Facebook post accusing the councillors of a “mass walkout” during a proposal she made for the council to voice official support for the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
The meeting closed three minutes before its scheduled finishing time after four councillors left, leaving it without a quorum. It meant Cr Hockley’s proposal could not be debated on the night.
Cr Hockley also alleged, in the comments of the Facebook post, that racism “maybe” existed within Mitcham Council.
The report found she failed to act in a way that would generate community trust and confidence in the council, did not show respect for her colleagues, did not endeavour to provide accurate information to the council and public, and did not endeavour to maintain a respectful relationship with all council members, regardless of differences.
Cr Hockley said she would apologise to her colleagues but she believed it was “a bit of a storm in a tea cup”.
“It could have been resolved informally with the councillors involved and yet it went through this process and cost the community four to six grand when it could have easily been discussed over a coffee or whatever and dealt with,” Cr Hockley said.
Sourced By: The Advertiser