Dubbo Mayor Stephen Lawrence has issued a 'please explain' to Councillor Greg Mohr about his absence from Thursday night's council meeting, saying he had evidence that Cr Mohr was at a pub.
Thursday's Dubbo Regional Council meeting was the final ordinary meeting of the term of council, held at 5:30pm.
"I got a message around 5:30pm saying that Greg Mohr was in the pub, from someone who obviously thought that he should be in a council meeting," Cr Lawrence told the Daily Liberal.
"I asked our CEO what the reason for his leave of absence was, I was told that it was a work commitment.
"I was later told that he had been in the pub between 4:30pm and 7:30pm, and then a picture of him in the pub has been widely circulated."
The Daily Liberal has also seen a photo but has agreed not to publish it, and has also agreed not to name the pub in question due to safety concerns raised by Cr Mohr in his role with Corrective Services.
When contacted and asked whether he was the pub during the stated time, Cr Mohr said he would not comment until provided with the details of the person who took the photo as it was a "breach of his privacy".
When informed that the Daily Liberal was not obliged to supply this information, Cr Mohr issued a statement that he was drawn away at short notice for a work meeting.
"I am currently Acting as the Area Manager for my region," the statement said. "These duties include being on call 24 hours a day and being contactable at short notice.
"I also had to have discussions with an officer who wanted to meet with me away from their environment at short notice.
"I also sent in my apology very late because I had intentions of attending the meeting but due to incidents during the day it was impossible for me to attend.
"I knew I was going to receive calls during the evening and would of not been able to do this during a council meeting nor would it been acceptable to leave while I took these calls.
"I may add that this meeting was first called as an Extraordinary meeting and changed to an Ordinary meeting. I can't change my roster at short notice to attend."
When contacted, pub owners stated they did not believe Cr Mohr was present.
The Daily Liberal has spoken to someone who stated they saw him.
Cr Mohr has not denied or directly responded to questions asking if he was in the pub at the stated time.
Cr Lawrence said he would wait for a response before passing judgement.
"I've issued him with a please explain asking him to explain why he wasn't at the council meeting, what the basis of his leave of absence was, and to just generally explain these circumstances.
"It does seem concerning on its face, but I'd like to give him that opportunity to explain it to me," he said.
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