Capalaba councillor referred to govt over complaints

A REDLAND city councillor has been referred to the Local Government Department after three allegations of inappropriate conduct were made in the past year.

PROCESS UNDER WAY: Complaints about Cr Paul Gleeson have gone to the state government for investigation.

PROCESS UNDER WAY: Complaints about Cr Paul Gleeson have gone to the state government for investigation.

Two complaints regarding Cr Paul Gleeson were made to council by  Alexandra Hills resident Dan Ling and a third by an unidentified person.

One complaint related to a confrontation in July last year when Cr Gleeson visited Mr Ling’s home after a Facebook  fracas.

The third complaint was about comments Cr Gleeson put on Facebook mentioning Mr Ling and Cr Murray Elliott, an Alexandra Hills football club and property that allegedly went missing.

Under the councillors’ code of conduct elected representatives are required to ensure their personal conduct does not reflect adversely on council.

Councillors also are to refrain from harassing or bullying other councillors, employees or any other person.

Mr Ling said mayor Karen Williams had shielded Cr Gleeson despite formal complaints being made to council over a long period.

Investigations into complaints had taken a long time compared with the probe into former councillor Craig Ogilvie who used council equipment to make a sex video.

“If it was someone like Murray Elliott or (Cr) Lance Hewlett, she wouldn’t shield them,” Mr Ling said. “But she needs the votes of Gleeson and Julie Talty.

“...I don’t want him belted over the knuckles with a wet lettuce.

“There’s not much they can do but he can be fined, suspended or sacked by the minister, although that’s unlikely.”

Cr Williams said Mr Ling’s claims were untrue and unsubstantiated.

“As has been explained to Mr Ling several times, investigating complaints is something we take seriously and while Mr Ling would like us to work to his timeframes and rush complaints through, we refuse to forsake a thorough investigation just to meet his timeframes,” she said.

“Mr Ling is very familiar with the process for investigating councillor complaints, after all he himself has lodged a number of complaints, most of which have been found lacking in substance and are unsubstantiated.”

Cr Williams said staff had spent hundreds of hours responding to complaints from Mr Ling.

“It is unfair on other residents for him to continually burn up costly resources that could be better spent on delivering for the broader community,” she said.

Mr Ling said he wanted to ensure due process was followed.

Cr Gleeson said Mr Ling was a serial complainant.

“I try not to engage with him,” he said. “He brings little of significant value to the betterment of the city.”

Cr Williams said she expected councillors to meet a high standard of professionalism.

They should ignore unproductive vexatious social media comments and focus on working in the best interests of the city.

“I think everyone needs to rise above the social media trolling and arguing,” she said.

“We don’t all have to agree but let’s at least be respectful.”