Misconduct @ Unley Council

I have been approached by the public seeking clarity about Item 731 in the Minutes of the Unley Council meeting held on 23 January 2017. The item is titled 'Breach of Conduct for Council Member'.

I provide clarity without further comment.

The incident occurred in 2016 and involved Councillor Michael Hewitson and a confidential email (to Council) regarding a tender for public lighting and external parties who were related to him; the external parties were his son and his nephew who works in the public lighting industry.

After an internal investigation, when the email trail came to light, Council was obliged to self-report the incident to the Office of Public Integrity. The matter was deemed a potential issue of misconduct in public administration within the meaning of the ICAC Act, and it was referred by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman investigated and determined that Cr Hewitson had failed to comply with Part 3 of the Code and in doing so he committed misconduct in public office within meaning of section 5(3)(b) of the ICAC Act.

The Ombudsman recommended that:
  1. Unley Council reprimand Cr Hewitson
  2. Cr Hewitson make a public apology
At the Council Meeting on 23 January 2017, Council formally reprimanded Cr Michael Hewitson and he made a brief apology.

Links to the Council Agenda and Minutes are below:
photo of Michael Hewitson (source: EC Messenger)