CASEY councillor Rosalie Crestani has been found guilty of misconduct following last year’s confrontation with the council after she attempted to raise a motion to stop the City of Casey promoting awareness of different sexual orientations.
The panel reprimanded Cr Crestani for calling a council staff member a bully during last year’s acrimony and also for sending emails on mass to council staff in relation to her motion.
It was these actions, and not the motion itself, which the panel deemed to be in breach of the Local Government Act.
It’s believed no other consequences will follow as a result of the finding.
Cr Crestani apologised for calling the staff member a bully and said she made the comment after some of her public supporters were asked to leave the council chambers last year.
“I also accept the panel’s ruling on my admission that I indeed called a member of senior staff a ’bully’ acknowledging I was under duress at the time having just been removed from all council committees and sent for investigation,” she said on Wednesday.
“Two members of senior staff told my support persons to leave or the police would be called.
“I maintained my right to have support persons with me and called one member a ’bully’ and to ’get away from here’ for insisting my support persons leave.
“I apologise for calling this person a bully as I would not want my children calling others names, even if they felt they were being bullied.”
The conduct panel heard from Cr Crestani and witnesses for the City of Casey throughout a three-and-a-half hour hearing earlier last month.
Cr Crestani accepted the findings and clarified that she wasn’t being punished for raising the motion originally.
“I attempted to defend myself in an email to all Casey staff, some 1300 persons, against alleged allegations that my views are extreme and did so rightfully defending myself under the rules of natural justice but it was still against protocol of council policy,” she said.
“As promised, I apologise to my fellow councillors for breaching this policy.“
Casey Mayor Mick Morland said the conduct panel would not take the issue further.
“Cr Crestani admitted in the panel that she made a couple of mistakes and she is a working part of the team now and everything seems to be going well,” he said.
Cr Crestani’s motion, which she raised in November, sought to stop the council from issuing media releases and to remove signs concerning sexual orientation or the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
None of her fellow councillors supported her motion.
Mayor Mick Morland blocked her repeated attempts to raise her concerns on the issue which Cr Crestani said at the time was an “abuse of process”.
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