Everard escapes serious penalty for email fabrication
FRASER Coast councillor Darren Everard has escaped serious penalty despite fabricating four emails and sending them to the Chronicle.
In November 2015 Cr Everard confessed to fabricating emails and sending them from his council email address, pretending to be members of the Fraser Coast community.
A spokesman from the Department of Local Government confirmed the matter had been dealt with.
“The complaint against councillor Darren Everard has been finalised,” he said.
The Director-General of the department assessed the matter and provided an outcome.
“Cr Everard had failed to comply with the Local Government’s procedures, namely the council’s Code of Conduct,” it read.
“A decision to take disciplinary action against Cr Everard for inappropriate conduct was made and an order was made reprimanding him for inappropriate conduct.”
The reprimand means the matter is finalised and no further action will be taken.
He referred himself to the Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond to investigate his “misleading” conduct.
An investigation by the Department of Local Government took seven months to complete despite Cr Everard admitting guilt.
Cr Everard’s confession came after a Chronicle Right to Information request revealed he authored four emails, but claimed they came from members of the Fraser Coast community.
On October 7 last year Cr Everard forwarded an email to the Chronicle which he said he received from someone called “John”.
The email talks about the controversial Fraser Coast Sport Precinct and describes councillor Rolf Light as an “extremely shallow and poorly guided individual”.
On October 15 Cr Everard forwarded a second email to the Chronicle which he claimed he received from someone called “Chris Dyson”. The email also related to the sport precinct and described Cr Everard as a “tosser”.
After the Chronicle questioned the legitimacy of the email from “Chris Dyson”, two more emails were sent under the alias Renee Dyson.
In the emails, Ms Dyson apologises to Cr Everard for the email “her partner Chris” sent.
“I am very sorry for the trouble that has been caused by Chris and the drinking,” it read.
Cr Everard has not spoken to the media about the investigation since November when he apologised to the Fraser Coast community “for letting them down”.
At the March Local Government Elections Cr Everard was comfortably re-elected to represent division seven ahead of Peter Carey.