The Ipswich City Council has been “shocked and rocked” by corruption and misconduct charges against two of its most senior employees, as the deputy mayor prepares to step down.
New mayor Andrew Antoniolli promised ratepayers a fresh era of accountability after the Crime and Corruption Commission charged the council’s chief executive officer and another senior bureaucrat.
Cr Antoniolli said the corruption allegations rocking the council were confronting, given he had only been mayor for a few weeks.
“No one puts their hand up for that,” he told ABC Radio on Friday.
He said he didn’t know if anyone else associated with the council was likely to be charged.
The new mayor also announced deputy mayor Paul Tully would resign the post at a council meeting on Tuesday, but there was no suggestion of wrongdoing against him.
Cr Tully, defeated by Cr Antoniolli in the recent mayoral contest, would remain councillor for division 2, based around Goodna.
He was Queensland’s longest-serving councillor, being first elected to the Ipswich City Council in 1979.
Cr Antoniolli announced this week he would ask the full council on Tuesday to begin a wind-up of council-owned committees and ask for a forensic audit of the council-owned committees. Cr Tully had previously backed those committees and, as a director, supported their role in Ipswich City Council.
The council’s chief executive, Jim Lindsay, was arrested in dramatic scenes at the council’s headquarters on Thursday.
He was charged with official corruption and disobedience to statute law a day after the council’s chief operating officer of works, parks and recreation, Craig Maudsley, was charged with misconduct in relation to public office.
Former mayor Paul Pisasale is also accused of extortion. His case is not believed to be linked to the specific allegations against Mr Lindsay and Mr Maudsley.
“We are struggling as an organisation with what has happened this week,” Cr Antoniolli told reporters on Friday.
“It has shocked and rocked us but, as I said, we will come through this stronger and better for it.”
The mayor said the council would continue to co-operate with the Crime and Corruption Commission. It has also sought urgent legal advice about its options after Mr Lindsay’s arrest.
Council solicitor Daniel Best will take up the role until someone can be found from outside the council to serve as acting CEO.
Mr Lindsay has been forced on leave but he’s still being paid. So is Mr Maudsley and that will continue until the legal case against him progresses through the courts.