The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed the dismissal of charges of fraud brought against former Ipswich Mayor, Andrew Antoniolli, by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).
In 2019, a magistrate found Mr Antoniolli guilty of fraud after he had bid on items at charity auctions and paid for them with the council’s community donations fund.
Mr Antoniolli appealed the decision, and the Appeal Court ruled in favour of dismissing the charges under the basis that the use of the donations fund to pay for charity auction items was not contrary to council policy, and that evidence showed Mr Antoniolli reasonably believed that the practice was allowed, provided he did not benefit personally.
LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith, said, “We now have yet another former Mayor left picking up the pieces after having his life and reputation badly damaged by the laying of charges by police officers seconded to the Crime and Corruption Commission that have – yet again – ultimately been found to be baseless.
“This cannot go on. It is damaging not only to those wrongly charged but is also undermining public confidence in the CCC and the local government sector as a whole.
“The community must have confidence in both.
“That’s why the LGAQ called for the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission to inquire into the CCC’s actions.
“That inquiry is due to report back at the end of this month and we look forward to the committee’s recommendations.”