Sno Bonneau Cairns Council 1995 - 2012
Sno Bonneau - Investigation clears Councillor
On the 15th of February 2011 a fellow Cairns Regional Councillor, Robert Pyne, provided claims to the Cairns Regional Council Chief Executive Officer suggesting Sno Bonneau had not dealt with election donations correctly and requested an investigation.
The Chief Executive Officer investigated the claims and decided to provide them to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
The Crime and Misconduct Commission eventually referred the matter to a Regional Conduct Review Panel and following an extended period of investigation the Crime and Misconduct Commission via the Regional Conduct Review Panel completely cleared Sno Bonneau of any wrongdoing and were critical of Councillor Robert Pyne for having made the claims.
Selected comments from the Regional Conduct Review Panel Determination:
"From his election to the present day, Cr. Bonneau has diligently declared and recorded interests, election gifts and business associates of both his and his wife.
There is nothing whatsoever to substantiate any of the allegations against Cr. Bonneau.
The Panel orders that allegations that Councillor Sno Bonneau did not declare a conflict of interest or a material personal interest under the Local Government Act 1993 and or the Local Government Act 2009 be dismissed as “misconceived and lacking in substance.”
If the (media) reporting is accurate an observation seems apt. There is a process in place to investigate and determine these type of allegations and maintain transparency and accountability. This process is laid out in the Local Government Act 2009. If the media reporting is accurate, why did Cr Pyne take his allegations to the media in the first instance, if at all? Cr Pyne could have simply reported the matter to CRC's CEO and let the process take it's course , secure in the knowledge that his righteous, "committed watch dog", "keeping the bastards honest", "I won't be discouraged, intimidated or bullied" and "standing up for my division" principles remained intact.
Cr Pyne is not the rustic dullard that certain readers of his reported comments might conclude. He has a degree in law and politics and is in a better position than the layman to understand the implications of his allegations against Cr Bonneau, if taken to the media prior the upcoming council elections. In other words has Cr Pyne engaged in deliberate and methodical 'dirt digging' in order to 'get something' on Cr Bonneau and instigate this investigation with the view to leaking it to the media as part of a ratepayer funded re-election campaign."
The Director of The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Branch of the Department of Local Government and Planning has advised that both the Councillor subject to investigation and the Complainant have the authority and legal right to make the report from the panel available to the general public.
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