Cain report due

AN investigation into Cockburn council CEO Stephen Cain’s claim the city was an unsafe environment that forced him to take sick leave will be completed by the end of the month, according to a council source.

But the issue is so sensitive to the council, it won’t even discuss what will happen to the report when it’s been received, let alone its details.

On Monday the council convened for a special meeting to again discuss the dysfunction that led to Mr Cain being sent on extended leave until the investigation is completed.

Although the meeting was behind closed doors and its decisions confidential, the Herald understands the recommendation from officers was deferred following a tight vote.

Raised voices could also be heard from outside the chamber when standing orders had been suspended.

Dysfunction

Acting CEO Stuart Downing would not confirm when the report into the investigation was due to be delivered, nor whether a copy would be sent to the state government and when councillors would get a look.

“As the 13 January 2020 special council meeting related to employee matters, it is confidential and cannot be discussed, in keeping with Section 5.23(2) (a) of the Local Government Act 1995,” Mr Downing said.

“Services to our community continue to be delivered at the usual high level.”

Later this month, the State Administrative Tribunal is also due to hand down its punishment for councillor Lee-Anne Smith, who has defied an order from the Local Government Standards Panel to apologise to colleague Chontelle Sands over comments made during a meeting in August 2018.

In a submission to the SAT, Mr Cain argued Cr Smith should be suspended for at least four months. He had also lodged a successful complaint with the standards panel about Cr Smith’s communication with a developer. The panel upheld the complaint, while noting that it was of a minor nature.

by STEVE GRANT

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