Council CEO in trouble over sports upgrade

Cleve Council chief executive Peter Arnold was investigated by the State Ombudsman.

Ombudsman Wayne Traces investigated a criticism from Peter Arnold more than the replacement of a green at Cleve and District Bowling Club.

Mr Traces discovered Mr Arnold authorised payments for the enhance underneath an understanding that the club would reimburse the charges, regardless of no official settlement being in location.

The council in June 2017 gave “in principle” help to loan the club $a hundred and fifty,000 for the operates, but by that phase the council experienced currently paid out $24,two hundred for the project’s deposit.

The enhance was finished that yr, but the Ombudsman’s report said it was not right up until May perhaps 2018 that the club treasurer and Mr Arnold formally signed a loan deal.

“Effectively the (bowling club) experienced a new green paid out for by (the council) and total chance of reimbursement falls to council, with no guarantors in location,” the complainant alleged.

Mr Traces discovered ratepayers’ money was made use of devoid of official council acceptance, “specific inclusion” in the council’s funds, a published settlement or any assurance the money would be repaid.

“The over aspects, merged with the reality that the council’s document retaining did not accurately reflect the quantities paid out … led to the bowling club repaying the council in excessive of $one hundred twenty,000 less than the total the council spent on the venture, resulted in sizeable mismanagement of general public sources,” the report states.

Mr Traces discovered Mr Arnold fully commited misconduct and maladministration by making use of council money to shell out the bowling club’s charges and recommended the council take into consideration disciplinary motion. The club experienced repaid the council about $113,000 by May perhaps 2018.

Mr Arnold said the club was also generating additional repayments as scheduled.

He referred inquiries to Mayor Phil Cameron, who said ratepayers experienced incurred “no out of pocket expenses”.

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“(The) council has deemed the correct motion,” Mr Cameron said. He declined to elaborate since of confidentiality reasons.

“The CEO has the complete help of elected customers and will continue to operate as normal. It is something that occurs in human mother nature. Persons make faults and it was finished inadvertently.”

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