News

Cr clear of misconduct Councillor cleared of misconduct

Karen Toms.
Karen Toms. Adam Hourigan

THERE were tears and hugs in the public gallery at 7pm last night when Clarence Valley councillor Karen Toms was cleared of breaching the council's code of conduct.

It took councillors three hours, one of which was spent in private, to finally put an end to accusations the elected representative had acted wrongly in her dealings with a party that had held a contract for local swimming pools.

Two parties, the names of which were not revealed, complained Cr Toms breached the code of conduct by contacting a contractor.

Cr Toms cried throughout the five minutes she was given to address the council yesterday, before a discussion on a report done by a "sole reviewer" employed by the local authority, which found she had breached the code.

"That attack on my reputation last May was prejudicial in my view," she said.

"I acted honestly and in good faith and with good reason at all times.

"Please keep in mind you are in a process capable of destroying my reputation in the community."

The investigation revealed a number of breaches dating from 2011 until this year.

However, in 2011 Cr Toms, along with Cr Margaret McKenna and the then general manager, were employed to be on a working party to "negotiate" the region's pools.

At a council meeting in Maclean in May, Cr Toms leapt to the defence of one of the pool contractors and expressed concerns about the way the party was being treated by the council. She admitted she had spoken to the contractor.

That sparked the two complaints.

New councillor Andrew Baker spent considerable time querying the report and was the first to recommend Cr Toms' name be cleared due to concerns over process, and that her legal fees be paid by the council.

He lost the vote but when Mayor Richie Williamson attempted to move that further investigations be done by another reviewer, Cr Baker successfully appealed for the meeting to continue in private to address some 100 pages of confidential information.

About an hour later, Cr Margaret McKenna's recommendation that the council determine Cr Toms made no breach of the code of conduct and that the council review the report and procedures was supported by Crs Toms, Simmons, Challacombe and Baker with Crs Williamson, Howe, Hughes and Kingsley voting against.

More in tomorrow's Daily Examiner and online at dailyexaminer.com.au.



Police search for stolen items from Yamba wreck

FLOTSAM: Debris from a boat which crashed onto Lover's Point in Yamba last week.

Missing items constitutes theft, not salvage, say police

Locks on the line in the hunt for a blood cancer cure

Sarah Dougherty and Virlissa Adams, right, will lose their locks on March 16 to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Call for participants in Shave for a Cure spectacular.

Amanda Stacey named Clarence woman of the year

Clarence electorate woman of the year Amanda Stacey surrounded by her family and many of her volunteers/supporters, including member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis

Work with vulnerable in our community for award

Local Partners

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

BLANCA Blanco made headlines around the world after 'accidentally' flashing, but she says she was actually wearing a nude bodysuit.

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Lama and Sarah’s ‘epic’ MKR fail

My Kitchen Rules contestants Lama and Sarah.

Tempers flare as Lebanese feast turns into an epic fail.

Oscars 2017: How did biggest award get stuffed up?

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope.'

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

Lisa Curry breaks down in the jungle.

Lisa Curry says she can’t get married to her fiance

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Historic home 'Fairweather' up for action

Fairweather

Historic property owned for last 35 years up for sale

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!