The Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate, as the integrity agency for local government in Victoria, has completed an investigation regarding former Murrindindi Shire councillor Chris Healy.
Earlier this week, Mr Healy was served with 5 charges related to alleged occurrences of misuse of position.
The Inspectorate alleges that as a former councillor, on 5 separate occasions, Mr Healy attempted to gain an advantage by making improper use of information acquired while a councillor in written or oral submissions regarding Murrindindi Shire’s proposed rating strategy.
The Inspectorate began its investigation in March 2015. This investigation took a considerable time to complete due to the complex analysis of documents and the prioritisation of investigations into election offences in 2016.
The Inspectorate has filed the charges in relation to alleged misuse of position under section 76D(1) of the Local Government Act 1989.
Misuse of position carries a serious penalty under the Act of 600 penalty units ($93,276) or up to 5 years imprisonment or both.*
Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said: “This matter reflects the expectations and responsibilities of a councillor when privy to information received only as a result of holding the office of councillor. As the matter is now before the courts, the Inspectorate cannot provide any further comment.”
* While the penalty is listed in this form in the Act, the Sentencing Act 1991 gives a magistrate discretion to reduce any penalty imposed on the accused.