Fraser Coast mayor could face potential prison sentence
FRASER Coast mayor Chris Loft could face a potential prison sentence if found guilty of the charges laid by the Crime and Corruption Commission on Thursday.
The CCC will allege in court that the charges relate to his conduct while he was mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
Cr Loft will face court on five charges stemming from four offences, and the maximum penalty could mean years of jail time.
The 66-year-old was charged with:
- Two counts of misconduct in relation to public office contrary to section 92A(1)(c) of the Criminal Code. It carries a maximum penalty of seven years jail.
- Disclosure of official secrets contrary to section 85 of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.
- Wilfully disclosing information contrary to section 213(2) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001. The maximum penalty is 85 penalty units or one year's imprisonment.
- Computer hacking and misuse contrary to section 408E(1) of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.
Cr Loft was elected as Fraser Coast mayor in 2016 after a long and protracted battle at the polls.
He received 33.22% of the primary vote, but while the residents voted on March 19, he was not declared mayor until April 4 due to the tight count.
Cr Loft, the former Division 3 representative, eventually won the election with 53.75% after the distribution of preferences.
When he announced his intention to run for mayor, Cr Loft said he had witnessed an "extremely unhealthy council".
He campaigned with a "Common sense starts here" slogan, and published the "Common Sense Express", where he listed his campaign promises.
Cr Loft will face Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on January 18, 2018.