A former Queensland Police Officer who made a formal submission to the Brent Misconduct Enquiry says his evidence has "been totally ignored" by Acting Director-General Jack Noyes.
Ken Vandermolen made the allegations in a letter to the editor sent to local media outlets on Friday. He said that standard investigative procedures were ignored during the enquiry.
“I find it extraordinary that . . . if the investigator was an ex Police Officer, that Rules and Laws of Evidence have, it would seem, been ignored. Common sense alone would require that the statements as provided by both Liz and I be verified”.
Local businesswoman Liz Koops also made a submission to the enquiry about the behaviour of Mayor Brent inside and outside the Boonah Council Chambers. She said that the investigator did not seek to confirm her statement or contact her in any way.
Ms Koops said on Friday: “The intimidating and disgraceful way the Mayor constantly treated and belittled one councillor in particular (Derek Swanborough) was embarrassing and disgusting, causing comments and the shaking of heads in the public gallery.
In his decision to dismiss all charges against Mayor Brent, Acting Director-General Noyes said the evidence provided by the two statements by Vandermolen and Koops “ . . . was not supported by the remainder of the Councillors present at that meeting. I am therefore of the opinion that on the balance of probabilities, there is insufficient evidence to support the allegation.“
“I stand by my version of what happened and had Mr Noyes or anyone bothered to contact me personally, as is indeed the rule in any enquiry, where a witness has made a statement, they would have found me to be a very reliable, honest and a person of integrity,” said Ms Koops.
Cr Derek Swanborough said, “There were about twenty people in the gallery of the Council Chamber that day. They will have signed the attendance sheet. Did the investigator follow up these eye witnesses? Did the investigator interview Council staff present at the meeting?”
Cr Swanborough and the two ratepayers are following up their concerns about the probity of the investigation with the Department of Local Government and Planning.
We have approached Mayor Brent and Council CEO Craig Barke for their comments on these allegations and await their reply.