Former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft leaving the Hervey Bay court house during day 1 of his trial
Former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft leaving the Hervey Bay court house during day 1 of his trial Jessica Lamb

Former CEO gives evidence in trial of ex-mayor

UPDATE 4PM:

DAY one of former mayor Chris Loft's trial has officially ended.

Hervey Bay District Court was adjourned until 10am tomorrow at 4pm today.

The cross examination of ex Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond will continue when court resumes.

UPDATE 2.20PM:

THE trial of former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft has re-convened after breaking for lunch.

The crown prosecutor alleged in his opening statement that Brian Downie, Mr Loft's mayoral campaign manager, emailed Mr Loft selection criteria for a job position.

These criteria are allegedly similar to what was given to the chief executive officer at the time, Lisa Desmond, by Mr Loft when he presented a job description for what he labelled a 'chief of staff position'.

"The crown allegation is this was drafted to suit his (Mr Downie's) experience and Mr Loft would have been aware of it," the prosecutor said.

For full details of the allegations see tomorrow's Chronicle.

Former Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond is currently giving evidence on the stand.

UPDATE 11.05AM:

THE trial of Chris Loft is expected to run for five days, Hervey Bay District Court heard this morning.

Fourteen jurors with two reserve jurors have been empanelled.

The potential witness list, read to the court, includes Fraser Coast Regional councillors Rolf Light and Denis Chapman as well as former FCRC chief executive officer Lisa Desmond and Mr Loft's former mayoral campaign manager Brian Downie.

The judge addressed the jurors to their responsibility to be impartial before the court adjourned for a break.

UPDATE 10.20AM:

IN FRONT of a courtroom of onlookers, ex-Fraser Coast mayor Loft has plead not guilty to one count of misconduct in public office. 

The court heard Mr Loft stands charged between April 3, 2016 and February 28, 2017 in Hervey Bay he used his position to procure the creation of a new employment position and he used his position as mayor to influence the employment process in favour of his former campaign manager Brian Downie.

The process of empanelling a jury is underway.

EARLIER:

FORMER Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft has arrived at the Hervey Bay court house ahead of his trial.

Mr Loft is set to face the District Court for one charge of misconduct in relation to public office which is listed for 10am today.

Mr Loft greeted reporters with a "good morning" while carrying a box up the stairs of the court house about 8.50am.

More to come.


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