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POLL: Fraser Coast councillor admits he faked emails

A Fraser Coast Chronicle investigation revealed Councillor Darren Everard fabricated four emails.
A Fraser Coast Chronicle investigation revealed Councillor Darren Everard fabricated four emails. File

COUNCILLOR Darren Everard has confessed to fabricating emails and sending them from his council email address, pretending to be members of the Fraser Coast community.

Cr Everard has referred himself to the Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond to investigate his "misleading" conduct.

The confession comes after a Chronicle Right to Information request revealed Cr Everard authored four emails, but claimed they came from members of the Fraser Coast community.

On October 7 Cr Everard forwarded an email to the Chronicle which he said he received from someone called "John".

The email talks about the controversial Fraser Coast Sport Precinct and describes councillor Rolf Light as an "extremely shallow and poorly-guided individual".

On October 15 Cr Everard forwarded a second email to the Chronicle which he claimed he received from someone called "Chris Dyson".

The email also related to the sport precinct and described Cr Everard as a "tosser".

After the Chronicle questioned the legitimacy of the email from "Chris Dyson", two more emails were sent under the alias, Renee Dyson.

In the emails, Ms Dyson apologises to Cr Everard for the email "her partner Chris" sent.

"I am very sorry for the trouble that has been caused by Chris and the drinking," it read.

The fake email describes the situation which led to Cr Everard receiving the initial email from Chris Dyson.

After questioning, Cr Everard admitted to completely making up the four emails.

"I did it out of frustration - I wasn't thinking straight," he said.

"I apologise to the residents of the Fraser Coast for letting them down."

Cr Everard has pledged to remain in his role as a councillor until next March's Local Government Elections.

"I'm co-operating with an investigation and we've just got to let that take its course at the moment," he said.

The events councillor would not comment on whether he would re-contest his seat in next March's council elections.

"I haven't thought about that," he said.

Cr Everard said this was the first time he had fabricated emails and sent them to people.

When made aware of Cr Everard's comments, Cr Light was saddened.

"It's extremely disappointing that my colleague has acted in this way," he said.

The council's CEO Lisa Desmond is currently investigating and will determine where to send Cr Everard's confession.

If she deems it as possible misconduct the complaint will be forwarded to the Department of Local Government.

If it is considered to be possible inappropriate conduct, the matter could be sent to the Mayor to be dealt with.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell was made aware of the emails when asked for comment by the Chronicle.

He said the complaint would be assessed against legislation and the councillor code of conduct.

"That will now have to be thoroughly and properly assessed," he said.

Topics:  darren everard, fraser coasr regional council



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