Dubbo Regional Council acting chief executive officer Dean Frost says he "strongly refutes" any suggestion of complaints against the organisation being covered up.
It comes after Sydney media reports on Wednesday of allegations that a former staffer's hours were dramatically cut after making a complaint in 2019 against mayor Ben Shields.
Responding to the reports, Deputy Premier John Barilaro has supported the call by other Dubbo councillors for an independent investigator to ensure the "individual has had everything done properly".
Mr Barilaro said he wanted to ensure the person who made the complaint was dealt with in an appropriate, transparent way and he wanted an investigation to reassure them.
He also said Cr Shields should stand aside while the investigation was undertaken.
But Mr Frost has stood by council's complaints process.
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"I strongly refute any suggestions and allegations of staff 'covering up' complaints received by Dubbo Regional Council," Mr Frost told the Daily Liberal.
"As a NSW local government body and large employer, we operate a safe workplace that takes any and all allegations...incredibly seriously.
"I also reject claims that existing staff are asked to sign 'non-disclosure agreements' as part of a cover-up."
Mr Frost said council staff, and the community could be assured that when a complaint was lodged with council due process was followed to ensure the matter was dealt with appropriately.
"It is critical to note, if someone is unhappy with how a complaints matter has been resolved, they can refer it to any number of regulated and authorised third parties for further investigation, including but not limited to: the Office of Local Government, SafeWork NSW or the Industrial Relations Commission," the acting CEO said.
Mr Frost recently revealed council had received an "unprecedented" number of complaints with 23 submitted in two months, after six councillors signed a statement calling for anyone with concerns about council to come forward.
Ten of those complaints have been referred to O'Connor Marsden and Associates for further investigation.
Mr Frost said there were a number of ways a code of conduct complaint was dealt with and each alleged incident was dealt with on a case-by-case basis, in strictest confidence.
He said it was the CEO, including the former CEO Michael McMahon, who made the final decision about how a matter should be investigated in such cases.
"If the CEO decides, under the powers prescribed as part of the Procedures for the Administration of the Code, that there be no action taken about a councillor, the CEO must give the complainant reasons in writing for their decision within 21 days of receipt of the complaint," he said.
"If the matter is referred on to the Office of Local Government, the complainant will be notified about this, and will be updated throughout the investigation process. Ultimately, staff will find out the results of the Code of Conduct matter in writing, from the CEO."
Mayor Ben Shield has also been contacted for comment on complaints against council, however he was not able to respond before deadline.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, Cr Shields said he strongly rejected accusations he had violated council's code of conduct or broken any law.
Cr Shields said he had been informed there were currently no complaints from staff or ex-staff members directed at him and he had engaged legal counsel in relation to accusations against him.
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