City of Bayswater councillor under investigation for sending critical and unauthorised letters on council letterhead

City of Bayswater councillor Brent Fleeton is under investigation after the City made a complaint to the Local Government Standards Panel.
City of Bayswater councillor Brent Fleeton is under investigation after the City made a complaint to the Local Government Standards Panel.

THE Local Government Standards Panel is considering a complaint made against City of Bayswater councillor Brent Fleeton, who sent letters featuring a council letterhead to 1000 households criticising the City’s 4.9 per cent rate rise.

Councillor Fleeton hand delivered letters to homes in Noranda and Morley on August 20, which included three opinion pieces he wrote outlining his issues with the state of the City’s 2017-18 Budget.

Cr Fleeton stated in the letter that while he was not up for re-election, he wanted to see “fresh faces” on council.

“In two months, you will have the opportunity to send a clear message to the City, so make sure you ask the tough questions of candidates,” he said.

“If this is an important issue for you, ask candidates who ask for your vote in the upcoming elections what they think about this.”

Bayswater chief executive Andrew Brien submitted a complaint to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, which stated an internal review was undertaken that found Cr Fleeton may have breached regulations 7a and 8 and section 4.87 of the Local Government Act 1995.

Mr Brien’s complaint also stated that there was also a possibility the letter breaches the City’s code of conduct of elected members.

The regulations were referred to as securing personal advantage or disadvantaging others and misuse of local government resources.

Section 4.87 states a person who prints, publishes or distributes electoral material commits an offence unless the name and address was published at the end of the material.

A department spokeswoman said as the complaint was currently being considered, it would be inappropriate to comment further and the department was not aware of any other recent complaints in relation to the City.

A City spokeswoman said the City would not be commenting on the matter further.

Cr Fleeton said he would not comment on the matter until asked to by the panel.

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