The local government watchdog is expected to revisit outstanding matters against newly re-elected Ipswich councillor Paul Tully.
The local government watchdog is expected to revisit outstanding matters against newly re-elected Ipswich councillor Paul Tully.

Watchdog to look at veteran councillor

VETERAN Ipswich councillor Paul Tully is set to be looked at by the state's local government watchdog over issues from before the council's spectacular sacking in 2018.

Cr Tully says he would co-operate if any investigation were commenced, and that some outstanding matters were "minor" issues.

SEE THE IPSWICH ELECTION RESULTS SO FAR

Council's dismissal was triggered by a widespread corruption probe that led to dozens of charges against officials, politicians and others, including former mayor Paul Pisasale, who is currently in jail for extortion and defending a string of other criminal charges.

Parliament passed laws to dismiss the council after a Crime and Corruption Commission report on its Operation Windage probe into Ipswich exposed an "unhealthy culture" and "wide spectrum of governance and integrity failures."

Mr Tully was among the councillors dismissed, ending his 39-year council career.

He has not been charged with any offences.

Paul Tully is expected to be returned as a councillor following last weekend’s election.
Paul Tully is expected to be returned as a councillor following last weekend’s election.

The state's council watchdog, The Office of the Independent Assessor, however, is expected to revisit outstanding matters against Mr Tully following his likely return as an Ipswich councillor following last weekend's council elections.

Led by seasoned organised crime fighter and barrister Kathleen Florian, the OIA was set-up months after Ipswich council's sacking and any matters involving dismissed Ipswich councillors were put on hold so the body could focus on misconduct allegations involving sitting councillors.

"As was said before the election, the OIA will revisit any outstanding complaints or investigations involving former Ipswich City councillors if they're re-elected," Ms Florian told The Courier-Mail today in response to questions about Mr Tully.

Kathleen Florian from The Officer of the Independent Assessor. Picture: Peter Wallis
Kathleen Florian from The Officer of the Independent Assessor. Picture: Peter Wallis

"Any relevant matters will be progressed once the election result is officially declared, and they'll be treated as confidential at least until they're finalised in keeping with procedural fairness and natural justice," she said.

Ms Florian released a statement before the election labelling comments by Cr Tully at a public forum that he was "not aware of anything involving me" being before the OIA as "misleading".

"The OIA has been in contact with Mr Tully a number of times regarding outstanding matters against him, so he is aware these exist," Ms Florian said in a statement last month.

"When complaints and investigations are finalised notices are sent to all parties to advise them the matter has been finalised and of the outcome, and no such notice has been sent to Mr Tully about the matters involving him."

Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully. Picture: Cordell Richardson

The OIA said it had previously declined to identify Mr Tully "as the subject of any unresolved misconduct matters" but its media policy allows it to consider whether it is "appropriate and fair to release information where facts have been misrepresented or distorted".

Cr Tully this week declined to say what the outstanding matters were, but said some of those he knew of were "pretty sort of minor."

He said he would "absolutely" co-operate with the OIA.

"I know I'm right in saying that there's been no investigation actually commenced.

"I don't know whether it will be or not," he said.

Cr Tully and running mate Nicole Jonic had a clear lead over rivals in Ipswich's Division 2 as of today.

Originally published as Watchdog to look at veteran Ipswich councillor



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