THE local government standards panel has cleared Bayswater councillor Brent Fleeton of wrongdoing by letterboxing flyers criticising council in the lead up to the October elections.
In August Cr Fleeton hand-delivered 1000 flyers in Morley and Noranda with opinion pieces criticising council, including one on the latest budget, which he argued pushed rates up too high.
He wasn’t up for re-election this year, but the flyer stated “I desperately want fresh faces on council who know how tough it is at the moment and vote accordingly”.
The anonymous complaint alleged he secured personal advantage, or disadvantaged others, and also alleged “misuse of local government resources” by using the council logo on the flyer.
The standards panel deals with minor misconduct and can order a councillor to be publicly censured, to publicly apologise (taking out ads in papers saying they’re sorry), or to undertake relevant training.
The panel found Cr Fleeton had not committed any breach, with the full decision and reasoning to be released in coming weeks.
“Common sense prevailed in the end,” says Cr Fleeton.
“I appreciate that process had to be followed once it was started. It’s just disappointing I wasn’t ever able to find out who actually complained about an elected councillor voicing an opinion on the most pressing challenges being faced, namely the state of our local finances.
“The last thing we need is a group of people just agreeing with each other and not making tough decisions in the fear of some type of prosecution.”
by DAVID BELL