A Warrumbungle Shire councillor has been suspended by the Office of Local Government (OLG) for misconduct in relation to a council staff member.
Councillor Fred Clancy has been suspended for one month by the Acting OLG chief executive Tim Hurst over an incident in which he argued “with the council employee in an aggressive manner which included pointing a finger at the face of the employee and speaking in a raised voice whilst in close proximity to the employee”.
Cr Clancy was ordered to apologise in writing to the staff member for his behaviour and the apology to be tabled at a council meeting.
I am aware of the imbalance of power and authority between Cr Clancy and the council employee which, in my opinion, exacerbates the breaches of the code of conduct.Tim Hurst
He was also ordered to cease engaging in misconduct as he previously received a warning and training for similar conduct.
“I note Cr Clancy has not demonstrated an acknowledgement that his conduct was unacceptable nor an understanding of the impact of his behaviour on the council employee,” Mr Hurst said in his Statement of Reasons for taking disciplinary action.
“I am also aware of the imbalance of power and authority between Cr Clancy and the council employee which, in my opinion, exacerbates the breaches of the code of conduct.”
Cr Clancy can have right of appeal to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Cr Clancy’s one month suspension from civic office will take effect from October 16.
Warrumbungle Shire Council referred the matter to OLG under the misconduct provisions of the Local Government Act after it formally censured Clr Clancy for breaching its code of conduct.
All councillors in NSW must comply with their council’s code of conduct which sets appropriate standards of behaviour.