Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cr. Sno Bonneau | Regional Conduct Review Panel Determination

                         The Regional Conduct Review Panel

Findings and Orders

The evidence before this Panel indicates that:

1.  Under the pre-amendment Local Government Act 2009, CRC councillors, senior council staff and council’s legal advisors struggled with that Act’s recording requirements in relation to conflicts and personal interests.

2.  This confusion was systemic and not limited to CRC, but impacted on local government across Queensland and ultimately resulted in legislative amendment.

3.  From his election to the present day, Cr. Bonneau has diligently declared and recorded interests, election gifts and business associates of both his and his wife.

4.  There is nothing whatsoever to substantiate any of the allegations against Cr. Bonneau.

The Panel orders that allegations that Councillor Sno Bonneau did not declare a conflict of interest or a material personal interest under the Local Government Act 1993 and or the Local Government Act 2009 be dismissed as misconceived and lacking in substance.”
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Cr Sno Bonneau writes:
"The Director of The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Branch of the Department of Local Government and Planning has advised that both the Councillor subject to investigation and the Complainant have the authority and legal right to make the report from the panel available to the general public.

There is a high level of public awareness and interest in the outcome and procedures involved following the provision of the claims and comments to the media and internet forums prior to the complaints being formally lodged. The matter has also been referred to on numerous occasions in the media during the 12 month period of the investigations.
Considering this high level of interest, and in fulfilling a desire to be completely open and transparent regarding these matters, the report is provided as an attachment in the link below."
Cr. Sno Bonneau
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My Comments

If you are interested in reading the full text of the Panel's decision then click on the below link. Cr Sno Bonneau website had been previously suspended. It has partially been reactivated to post the DLGP's decision.

What I find disturbing though is that most if not all of the 'donations' were in cash. I wonder why corporate bodies would give cash donations. Furthermore, I would be keen for the public to be told of the contents of the correspondence between Bonneau's solicitors and the investigating authorities.

Ross Parisi
JP ( Comm of Decl.)

DLGP Decision 28.2.12 (1.4 mb)

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Daniel Strudwick | Tuesday, February 28, 2012
© The Cairns Post

Claims of misconduct against Cairns councillor Sno Bonneau have been dismissed as "misconceived and lacking in substance".

The state’s Crime and Misconduct Commission and Department of Local Government and Planning have been investigating the allegations against Cr Bonneau for more than a year.

It was alleged in February last year that Cr Bonneau accepted cash donations for his 2008 election campaign and failed to declare a conflict of interest when voting on council matters that affected his donors.

The panel investigating the claims released their decision today, ordering that the allegations be dismissed.

Cr Bonneau has filed a $300,000 defamation suit against the fellow councillor who raised those claims, Cr Rob Pyne.

He says he will not contest the next council election in April, ending his 17-year career in local government.

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Addendum as per Cairns Post 29.02.2012

Cairns councillor Sno Bonneau will end his political career with a clean record after claims of misconduct raised against him by a fellow councillor were dismissed.

The independent panel assessing the claims released its findings yesterday, calling the accusations against Cr Bonneau "misconceived and lacking in substance" after a year-long investigation.

Cr Bonneau will now consider whether to proceed with a $300,000 defamation lawsuit he filed earlier this month against Cr Rob Pyne, who raised the misconduct claims against him.
"I’ve spoken with lawyers today and we’ve decided to let the dust settle for a little bit and then we’ll look at the options," Cr Bonneau told The Cairns Post. "At this stage, it’s certainly on the agenda."

According to court documents, Cr Bonneau would seek damages for stress and embarrassment caused by the accusations over the past year.

In February 2011, Cr Pyne alleged Cr Bonneau accepted cash donations during the last election campaign and then failed to declare a conflict of interest during several council votes that affected his donors.

Those allegations were handed to the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the matter was later passed on to the Department of Local Government and Planning, which released its findings yesterday.

Cr Pyne said he was disappointed that the ruling cleared Cr Bonneau of any wrongdoing.
"My biggest concern is that this was going to be a precedent that would deter people from taking cash donations during elections. It’s not going to be a deterrent now," he said.

Cr Bonneau, who announced this week he would not contest council elections in April, was relieved about retiring with his reputation intact after 17 years on the council.
But he insists councillors should not have to wait a year for claims of misconduct to be resolved.

"Unfortunately, it’s allowed Cr Pyne to keep raising the matter with the media and bring it to people’s attention to cause maximum political damage for the past year," he said
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1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to note that another blog, Hillbilly Watch has recently written a piece SOURCE OF BIG-MONEY IN CAIRNS ELECTIONS, which people should read. Cairns is on the verge of yet another building boom. Plans by inner city developers are already posted on the internet. The spectre of corruption and individual Councillors having their palms greased is not going to go away!


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