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Local Government

IN THE FRAME: Australia’s sleaziest council boss dobbed in by his own allies to Ombudsman over sex scandal

Miketyler450The Casey council has surprised observers familiar with its pattern of stone-walling by formally resolving to support a push from a community group that wanted the Ombudsman and Auditor-General to investigate sexual harassment and corruption allegations against council’s all-powerful Chief Executive Mike Tyler.

ELECTION YEAR ANGST
The common-sense move that many suspect will come back to haunt Tyler is a desperate attempt by worried and ambitious councillors just over six months away from a municipal election expected to attract a record number of challengers in Victoria’s most populous municipality.

Their decision came as Tyler and his henchmen created appalling optics by directing Victoria Police to remove troubled and angry elderly protesters from the Gallery who were publicly expressing their grave concern at Tyler’s conduct and the behind-closed-doors’ payment of hush money to a female staff member who accused the powerful council boss of behaviour she alleged involved a course of menacing and predatory conduct that – if proven – would almost certainly constitute the criminal offence of stalking.

DROPPING THE C-BOMB
In the shadow of Melbourne’s great shopping and cultural centre, Fountain Gate, there was audible gasping from the oldies in the Gallery as a Tyler-backer and boof-head Rob Halsall loudly used the “c-word” claiming that one of his council foes had used the word against his wife.

It was certainly a golden moment. We have attended many council meetings and it is a rare day indeed that the c-word is read out from the prepared remarks of an elected official. No wonder Casey’s meetings are so well-attended these days, this was certainly better than popping into the Fountain Gate Village cinema for a spot of John Carter in 3D.

One of the appalled and stunned members of the gallery, a former colourful councillor Paul Richardson, loudly expressed his concern about Halsall’s profanity while Mayor Sam Aziz, the Mercedes-driving Customs official and church-goer, struggled to deal with the mess. He couldn’t kick out the councillor for fear of the pro-Tyler bloc on council losing the numbers, so he instead ordered the outspoken Richardson to leave the council chamber. Richardson refused, prompting Aziz to suspend the meeting.

Others in the Gallery seemed outraged that the councillor who shocked and awed by using the “c-word” in such an august setting was allowed to remain while the Police were called in to remove the stubborn Richardson who declined to leave on principle. The Police eventually forcibly removed Richardson after Aziz, who struggled to control the meeting, sweating excessively, with eyes that darted around frequently, tried to hold it together as best he could. If he’s ambitious politically, defending a stalker-boss and council colleagues who use the c-word during council meetings must be giving him nightmares.

Mayor Aziz, a loud and proud Tyler backer, had boasted to council colleagues that he would “blast Bradford (a Tyler critic) ” out of the water.” A lengthy, sort-of pre-emptive strike multi-page motion that accused the Tyler critic of practically every form of wrongdoing. It failed to blame Bradford for the situation in Afghanistan, but that was about it. VEXNEWS is reluctant to repeat the claims for legal reasons, but they will be obtainable from the council website.

Of course, there wasn’t much interest in any of it from the Gallery as they seemed to have heard it all before. Most of them had come to knit Madam de Farge style during the guillotining of Mike Tyler.

When two of the Tyler-bloc councillors had suddenly returned to Melbourne, cruelly interrupting their latest interstate junket, that guillotining seemed unlikely so they seemed set to be disappointed.

NERVOUS MAYOR AZIZ HOLLERS FOR THE OMBO
Instead, while Aziz appeared to have gone very aggressively after his patron Mike Tyler’s foes, there was much shock and surprise when he declared he would be seconding a motion referring the claims of wrongdoing to the Victorian Ombudsman and Auditor-General.

It seems to us that anything less than the complainant (and her witnesses) completely withdrawing their account will result in Tyler’s inevitable demise from his powerful and well-paid post. Certainly, we have previously seen the Ombudsman’s office deem even the most innocent of councillors guilty of high crimes, attributing guilt to one who had been sent a racy image in a possible legal first. Whatever it is, for Tyler at least, it is an incredibly risky call. Tyler is certainly known to the Ombudsman after he made adverse findings against him in relation to the Brookland Greens municipal landfill debacle. In their report, they detailed Tyler’s dodgy dealings, including telling EPA officials intending to set up a physical monitoring presence in the council premises, that he (Tyler) “could not guarantee their personal safety.” Perhaps this is just the sort of robust banter one should expect from a council whose elected officials drop the c-bomb in prepared remarks.

It’s almost enough to crack a mention in the next Kath & Kim series. Possibly a whole episode centred on Kel’s election to the clowncil.

Meanwhile, back in the council meeting, where Tyler occasionally answered questions and had clearly pre-arranged more than a few, he all but admitted he had a legal duty to tell his “supervisor” (the council) and failed to explain why he didn’t.

Displaying the loyalty of a rat looking for escape from a sinking ship, he offered that the then Mayor (now state MP) Lorraine Wreford made her own judgement about whether to inform the council of his sexual harassment scandal.

Wreford needs to explain herself, undoubtedly. But in reality none of the councillors in Casey, or elsewhere, including mayors, run council’s operations. The Chief Executive Officer does. And this is very clearly the case with Casey where Tyler has been in charge of it for more than ten years.

Despite the council hierarchy stone-walling repeatedly on the question of how much was paid, Aziz confirmed what VEXNEWS had heard which was that the complainant was paid an amount “south of $38,000,” a quite large amount in sexual harassment cases. That itself was clearly a breach of the confidentiality agreement that the council had agreed, to the extent it matters.

Tyler’s hands were all over what was clearly an orchestrated – and highly politicalised – process engaged in by council officers to respond to questions from the public. We’ve been to many council meetings and never seen anything quite like the politicisation of officers exhibited by Tyler and his henchman Steve Dalton.

But that’s another story. And one that could itself explode into further legal trouble for what is Victoria’s new Brimbank. Indeed, it’s clear to us, it’s much worse than the largely exaggerated Brimbank council’s deficiencies ever were.

Click here for more.

This how it went down with VEXNEWS live-tweeting of the crazy council meeting:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. I heard slightly differently.I thought the mid stream show stopper was when Cr. Halsal actually said “he called my wife a “c” and used the whole word.
    With regards the senior cit. His time came when at the mayors instigation the cops were recalled to remove him. He asked the cop on whose authority he was being removed. The cop quoted the mayor and the senior cit said, “f the mayor” (again used whole word) at which point the boss cop seemed to loose his patience and became quite insistent.
    However the penultimate moment for me was when Bradford was questioning the CEO regarding why the councilors were not informed of his alleged indiscretions and the ensuing legal argy bargy that exposed the good ship Casey and its “directors” to a settlement. The CEO said that he’d delegated the matter to his director of corporate doings and by inference on this basis didn’t have a responsibility to do so because he had a conflict of interest. Would have been an interesting moment had the councilors called on the CEO to sack the GM (having been delegated responsibility for dealing with the allegation of harassment) for not informing the board – oops sorry the elected council.

    Posted by jk | April 4, 2012, 2:37
  2. Oh dear, I’ve always been willing to ‘receive’ Mike.

    Posted by Wenchy | April 4, 2012, 7:22
  3. Is that the same Sam aziz who attends shops in Dandenong.

    Posted by naughty | April 4, 2012, 7:25
  4. Thats sad that Tyler decided to dump on Lorraine wreford in relation to the coverup. Maybe some of these councillors who do his bidding should be warned. Mike only takes care of mike. Watch your fat arse Sam and other suckers

    Posted by Big girl | April 4, 2012, 8:06
  5. What a amazing meeting that was. Pro-Tyler councillors arguing that an investigation of the harrassment allegations were needed first. Totally ignoring the abuse of process that happened – irrespective of the truth of the allegations. And that idiot GM Corporate who demonstrated a total lack of ability in answering the most basic of questions.

    Posted by Mick | April 4, 2012, 10:29
  6. And not forgetting the young lady who left the chamber telling Sam Aziz that he was a “fat pig”. What religion is Sam anyway?

    Posted by Mick | April 4, 2012, 10:32
  7. Why wouldnt the CEO be sacked and fresh Council elections be held? Time to clear out the deadwood and a new start made.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 4, 2012, 13:23
  8. What an absolute disgrace. I am embarrassed to admit to my friends I live in the City of Casey. I attended last nights council meeting and was absolutely disgusted in the behaviour of the Mayor and an idiot councilor whos name I dont know but actually used the C word on two seperate occassions. I cannot believe that my rates are actually paying these bozos to sit and make decisions on my behalf. Everyone of the councilors should go as well as the entire senior management including the smirky CEO who sat their the entire time with a smirk on his face as if he was enjoying the breakdown of this council. What an absolute disgrace……I am so agngry and cant wait till the next elections to vote both my two ward councillors out.

    Posted by Anonplus1 | April 4, 2012, 14:50
  9. Funny how after the turmoil, the motion to have CEO was not read out as normally occurs. Have to wonder whether Cr Aziz really knew that it was mention to have Mike Tyler investigated, or whether due to them trying to get Bradford investigated he thought that was motion.
    Disgusting how it is clear there is a political ‘back’ scratching club within council, and that Cr Aziz has the numbers regardless of what the issue is.
    Seeing how shaken some of female Councillors were after this incident is disgusting.
    Cr Halsall was asked many times not to say the C Word but seemed to delight in putting his worse acting performance forward, by hesitating then saying it extremley loudly.
    Cr Aziz is a disgrace for asking that Mr Richardson and an other elderly man who needed a walking frame be removed, simply for objecting to that type of language being used.
    Cr Aziz is clearly happy to dish dirt on his perceived ‘enemies’ but ensures those in his ‘boys club’ face no justice or public opinion.
    I will be at next council meeting again to see how Casey abuses its power and how the councillors who are really doing what the community want are silenced and out voted.

    Posted by Truth hurts | April 4, 2012, 14:53
  10. Mitch Fifield to end up in 3rd place is my tip. Will fall between the cracks after promoting messy Senate fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Henry | April 4, 2012, 14:59
  11. Brimbank is a vile pit of Labor hatred and correuption, and Casey is a pit of dirty grubby self serving, corrupt Liberals. The radio station deal with Geoff Abblett is basically a deal to give the useless turd a job. Did you know that radio station was set up by a 3AW star when he was a teenager? Do the bi-partrisan thing and have them both sacked.

    Posted by What the ? | April 4, 2012, 17:47
  12. The noose is definitely tightening around the neck the the most despicable CEO in Victoria Casey CEO Mike Tyler. How can this pathetic person earning over $360K per year maintain his job…..the government must act and sack the councillors and the poor excuse for a professional CEO

    Posted by The Noose | April 4, 2012, 19:18
  13. As usual Andy you are flogging a dead horse – what sex scandal? – what sexual harrassment?

    Posted by Flaccid rubbish | April 4, 2012, 20:20
  14. The Very Important Mr Fifield has to be a Senator, otherwise the world will be a very odd place.

    Posted by Just_In McKeegan | April 4, 2012, 23:12
  15. Victoria needs a local government oversight Commisson. Or a Parliamentray commitee that can look into allegations of corrpuprtion. Melbourne City Counil should be first council off the block with its illegal offer a paid positions to ex councillors and other hidden commissions and. Payments of compensation.

    Posted by Oversight | April 5, 2012, 1:08
  16. ***Victoria needs a local government oversight Commisson***

    Yeah, that’ll do it.

    Like Fair Work Australia, but without their rush to judgement.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | April 5, 2012, 1:09
  17. ***as usual Andy you are flogging a dead horse***

    Thanks for your insightful observation but we don’t use the expression ‘flogging a dead horse’, in cases of post-menopausal sexual harrassment claims.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | April 5, 2012, 1:13
  18. This issue was aired on channel seven’s 6:00 pm news report Wednesday April 4, 2012

    Posted by Breaking news | April 5, 2012, 2:28
  19. You mean the womans oold! No offence meant to anyone, em but who and earth stalks and sexual harrasses oold people nowadays?? Don”t know if I can believe the story!!Sorry once again for any offence.

    Posted by Amazed | April 5, 2012, 9:22
  20. Darebin’s Labor Council is the next Council to go. Complaints brought by senior staff against Councillors. Investigated and proven. Baillieu just waiting on Casey case to quieten down. Councillors to be kicked out for two years around June. Libs can make big stand in lead up to Local Gov elections in October.

    Posted by Local Government Whisperer | April 5, 2012, 16:00
  21. Oh dear I’ve lost my halal kebab, maybe that obese ‘Lady’ Inga ate it.

    Posted by Sammy | April 5, 2012, 20:12
  22. I’m off to the pub to buy some more brandy.

    Posted by Michael John MLA | April 5, 2012, 21:46
  23. Good call by Scott the rat Ryan to bugger up a lifetime of friendships over nothing.

    Posted by elmo | April 6, 2012, 18:21
  24. How does it fell mike. Just think of all the people you have damaged. We haven’t finished yet. No one will want to know you by the end of this. Happy hidings in hampton

    Posted by Ha ha | April 7, 2012, 0:05
  25. There was another girl who lost her job form a local MP’s office when the electorate officer pursued her and her complaints fell on deaf ears. A separated Indian girl with 2 children from memory…now can anyone upload her stat dec to this website pls?

    Posted by Casey Watcher | April 7, 2012, 19:00
  26. This is so typical of Liberal behaviour. The ‘born to rule’ mentality. They scream from opposition on for accountability, governance, morality and perceptions BUT as soon as they win – it all goes out the back door!!!

    Posted by anon | April 7, 2012, 19:54
  27. ***A separated Indian girl with 2 children from memory…now can anyone upload her stat dec to this website pls?***

    Yeah, I remember that one. BIG payout. Of course, after the overheads, the photocopying costs, and Maurice Blackburn’s commission, there was $14.75 left. She’s selling herself on the streets of Calcutta now, and the kids have one kidney left between them. How does it go?

    “We are specialist Compensation Lawyers who act for people who have been injured or badly treated through the actions or inactions of others.”

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | April 8, 2012, 0:28
  28. **the ‘born to rule’ mentality**

    Yeah.

    As opposed to the quiet dignity of say, Mark Latham.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | April 8, 2012, 0:29
  29. Bayside councillor F.F.

    Posted by Johnny | April 9, 2012, 1:48
  30. Do you require my services Johnny?

    Posted by Felicity Frederico | April 9, 2012, 17:44
  31. Sack ’em all, sack ’em all. TOo much filth amongst Councillors and ALL council staff. Fresh as a daisy is what we need, want and must have! Are you listning Minister?

    Posted by I don't pay YOUR rates. | April 10, 2012, 9:12
  32. If it wasnt for Bob the builder who incited the gallery by his C-Word and as for spliters and bob the builder returning from WA to make sure they saved the CEO Pls. let me think about that plane fare refunded,Accomidation refunded I dont think so
    They didnt go at all it was a ploy.

    Posted by The Toad | April 10, 2012, 22:58
  33. The Young Indian mother of 2 who worked in an MP’s office and lost her job after being subjected to sexual harassment including visits to her home and who got the boot when she turned down the advances from a work colleague was a resident of Carrum Downs. All the while, the MP turned a blind eye.

    Time to flush out the offenders.

    Posted by Stop Harassment in the Workplace | April 13, 2012, 21:28
  34. Do you require my services Johnny?

    Posted by Felicity Frederico | April 9, 2012, 17:44

    If your no longer servicing any local gov officers

    Posted by Johnny | April 17, 2012, 0:47
  35. What not you too? MT and FF ?! MT and

    Posted by C | April 20, 2012, 1:02

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