Prison threat for mud-slingers

MELVILLE city council CEO Shayne Silcox has threatened ratepayers who lodged CCC complaints against one of his managers with three years’ gaol.

Last month the Corruption and Crime Commission finalised its investigation into the council’s health and leisure services manager Todd Cahoon, clearing him of any misconduct or pushing a controversial wave park proposal for his own benefit.

A furious Dr Silcox said attacks by wave park opponents against Mr Cahoon in public forums had been “abhorrent and self-serving”. He’d be pushing to ensure greater protection for staff in the future.

“I will also be seeking to understand under s. 25(5) of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003, whether the malicious and reckless reporting of allegations that we have seen qualifies as serious misconduct, which would result in a penalty of imprisonment for three years and a fine of $60,000,” Dr Silcox said.

The CEO revealed that following the initial claims, he called in a state government-approved human resources investigator to look into the matter. Their report cleared Mr Cahoon and was forwarded to the CCC, the Public Sector Commission and the Department of Local Government and Communities.

“As CEO I hope the media and the community understand the personal impacts, stress and trauma, that are caused when unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations are bandied around recklessly.”

Mayor Russell Aubrey said he was disgusted with wave park opponents, saying they’d defamed Mr Cahoon.

“Using the professional status of a staff member and any public servant as cannon fodder for personal or political gain is unacceptable from any perspective,” Mr Aubrey said.

“It’s also also cast the integrity of the city and its processes under unwarranted suspicion and the entire Melville community has a right to an apology after being misled in this malicious manner.”

by STEVE GRANT

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