CEO says Mayor Chris Loft forwarded emails to media outlet

FRASER Coast CEO Ken Diehm has named Mayor Chris Loft as the person behind leaking correspondence from Councillor Stuart Taylor to a media outlet.

The subject was raised at yesterday's council meeting when Cr Taylor mentioned Tuesday's Fraser Coast Chronicle front page referencing the claims from Gold Coast private investigator Dennis Walker who says he had been hired by the mayor to investigate former Fraser Coast council chief executive Lisa Desmond.

Cr Loft has denied the claims he has ever engaged with a private investigator.

In January Cr Taylor wrote an email to Cr Loft listing his concerns, including that his neighbours had told him a person they apparently recognised as a private investigator had been sitting outside his house.

In the meeting, Cr Taylor asked Mr Diehm if an assessment had been done to find who had forwarded on his email correspondence.

Mr Diehm confirmed there had been, with the discovery an email was leaked to the ABC by Cr Loft. Cr Taylor then asked who had forwarded on the email, to which Mr Diehm replied, "the mayor".

It comes as both Local Government minister Mark Furner and Mr Diehm confirmed the private investigator's allegations were being investigated.

"I am aware of the matters reported in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, and have asked my Director-General to work with the Crime and Corruption Commission and the Fraser Coast Regional Council to look into these very serious allegations," Mr Furner said.

Outside the meeting Cr Taylor said he would discuss the issue with the mayor rather than with the media.

"It's not really something I want to comment on other than to say I provided an email, I wrote an email to my council colleagues.

"I believed it was confidential. A response was provided to me by another councillor, the Mayor - I believed that to be confidential.

"That information was then ultimately provided to the public some months ago and again yesterday (Tuesday) in the media.

"Allegations and suggestions have been that I have provided that information to the media and I wanted to make sure it was on the record where that information was forwarded on from.

"That announcement was provided, I'm happy to leave the matter there."

Cr Loft declined to comment while matters were before the CCC.

Topics:  fccouncil fraser coast media

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