LAWYER: Mayor Chris Loft intends to fight charges
UPDATE: Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft's lawyer Angelo Venardos has confirmed his client planned to fight the charges.
Earlier today, Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm held a press conference on charges laid by the Crime and Corruption Commission against regional mayor Chris Loft overnight.
EARLIER: FRASER Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm has urged ratepayers to respect mayor Chris Loft's innocence until he is proven guilty.
Cr Loft was arrested and charged on Thursday after a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.
In a statement to the Chronicle on Thursday night, Mr Diehm said Cr Loft will remain mayor until the matter is determined by the court, unless the 66-year-old or Local Government Minister Mark Furner "decide otherwise".
"While the charges laid against the Mayor are quite serious, I would remind our community that our mayor is presumed innocent until proved guilty," Mr Diehm said.
"Until the matter is determined by the court the mayor will retain his position on council unless he, or the Minister for Local Government, decide otherwise.
"The charges laid against the mayor will have no impact on the operations of the Council and we will continue to operate and deliver high quality services to our community.
"Out of respect for the Mayor, and the judicial process, the council will not be making any comments or speculation in regards to his future."
Cr Loft was charged with:
- Two counts of misconduct in relation to public office contrary to section 92A(1)(c) of the Criminal Code.
- Disclosure of official secrets contrary to section 85 of the Criminal Code.
- Wilfully disclosing information contrary to section 213(2) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.
- Computer hacking and misuse contrary to section 408E(1) of the Criminal Code.
Cr Loft is due to face Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on January 18, 2018.
The CCC will allege in court the charges relate to his conduct while he was mayor.