EXCLUSIVE: Why Chris Loft was arrested by CCC
EXACTLY one year since former Fraser Coast Mayor Chris Loft was sensationally arrested by the Crime and Corruption Commission, the Chronicle can now reveal the Director of Public Prosecutions has chosen not to proceed with two of its initial charges against him.
Instead, it has presented a case on one charge of misconduct in a public office, the details of which can also be exclusively revealed.
It will be alleged Mr Loft tried to get long-time offsider and family friend Brian Downie a job with the Fraser Coast Regional Council while he was mayor.
Mr Downie was Mr Loft's campaign manager in the lead up to the 2016 Local Government election.
Following Mr Loft's 2016 election win, the former mayor is accused of pushing for a new role, specifically created for Mr Downie and then attempting to influence the recruitment process.
It is an offence for a person in public office to use their role to dishonestly gain benefit for someone else.
The two serious charges against Mr Loft that have been dropped include one count of misconduct in public office, which was different to the charge going ahead, and a wilfully disclosing information contrary the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.
Mr Loft's case has been listed for trial in the Hervey Bay District Court starting in May next year in front of Judge Glen Cash.
The trial is expected to continue for about two weeks.
The court will be required to find an unbiased jury panel of 12 members.
Mr Loft was knocked from the top job in February, becoming the first mayor in Queensland to be sacked.
A Fraser Coast Regional Council spokesman declined to comment.