CEO calls in lawyers over allegations by mayor's son

Fraser Coast Regional Council, Hervey Bay Chambers.
Fraser Coast Regional Council, Hervey Bay Chambers. Valerie Horton

FRASER Coast Council CEO Ken Diehm has called in the lawyers in response to allegations in an online video allegedly published by Mayor Chris Loft's son.

The controversial video was uploaded to YouTube via Jason Loft's blog the FC Journal at the weekend and shared to social media.

In it, unsubstantiated allegations are directed at councillors Paul Truscott, Stuart Taylor and George Seymour and former CEO Lisa Desmond.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Monday, Mr Diehm said he had instructed the council's solicitors to "take legal action" against the site's authors.

"I am incensed that members of the community feel it's okay to publicly make these allegations that impact people's livelihood and relationships and attack their character without repercussion," Mr Diehm said.

"There are appropriate ways to raise concern if members of public feel if councillors or anyone else has broken the law or acted inappropriately, and social media isn't that forum.

"I have instructed the council's solicitors to take legal action against authors of this site."

Mr Diehm said undertaking a "trial by social media" was "un-Australian and not fair."

When asked if the allegations would impact on his working relationship with Cr Loft, Mr Diehm said it would not.

"The fact it is the mayor's son is irrelevant, I have a great professional relationship with the mayor and have no concern this will impact the healthy, productive relationship we enjoy," he said.

"I can confirm I have made the mayor aware of my position that we will seek legal advice with the view of taking legal action.

"I have a statutory obligation to act in the best interests of council and community, and act without fear or favour."

The councillors named in the video have slammed the allegations.

Councillor Stuart Taylor said the allegations made were deliberately intended to cause harm to himself and others "that have stood up against inappropriate behaviour within the council."

"It is also concerning that the source of the allegations has an intimate knowledge of matters pertaining to Council and then distorts this information to his own benefit," Cr Taylor said.

Cr Paul Truscott called the allegations "absolutely absurd" while Cr George Seymour said he supported kids playing sport and "people volunteering to help that."

Ms Desmond said she would like to see Jason "provide evidence of corrupt conduct" and said she would "be seeking legal advice in relation to this comment."

Jason said "you and others can watch the FC Journal facebook and youtube page for my views on this matter."

Topics:  fccouncil fraser coast fraser coast regional council

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