Council, at its Ordinary September Council meeting, considered three motions from the Special Meeting of Electors held on 14 September 2018.
Shire of Capel Chief Executive Officer Ian McCabe said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the repayment of support provided to Cr M Scott and ex-CEO Mr Sheedy to obtain legal advice and to retain legal representation to pursue cases for defamation against shire residents. This funding was paid directly to legal advisers and not to Cr Scott or Mr Sheedy.
The three motions put forward were:
- Revoke the approved funding of legal action related to alleged defamation;
- That no further rate payers’ money is spent on related legal costs; and
- That amended sections of policy 1.5 Legal Representation Costs and Indemnification Councillors and Employees be reinstated. Mr McCabe said the first motion was not actionable as the service had been delivered and the funds expended.
“Similarly, in relation to the second motion, there is no desire to spend any funds on legal issues but where a response is required or officers are diverted to related actions, such as attending a meeting or replying to an email, there are opportunity costs,” he said.
“In regard to the third motion, a commitment was made on 25 July to review this policy. It should be noted that the amendments referred to did not remove any section of the policy but instead re-located them to another section (from section 7 to section 3).”