Logan councillor admits secretly taping colleague

 

A Logan councillor who is a witness in a fraud case against a former mayor and seven ex-councillors told a court how she secretly recorded a private meeting with one of them.

Lisa Bradley also revealed, while under cross examination in Brisbane Magistrates Court, that she secretly recorded a conversation with a senior council employee.

Ms Bradley was being cross-examined by Saul Holt, QC, and other lawyers at a committal hearing.

Logan Councillor Lisa Bradley. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Logan Councillor Lisa Bradley. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Ex-mayor Luke Smith and former councillors Russell Lutton, Steve Swenson, Cherie Dalley, Laurie Smith, Phil Pidgeon, Trevina Schwarz and Jennie Breene are each charged with fraud.

Luke Smith also is charged with two counts of misconduct in relation to public office.

The charges were brought by the Crime and Corruption Commission, which alleges they acted fraudulently by sacking former whistleblower chief executive officer Sharon Kelsey in early 2018.

It is alleged they caused detriment to Ms Kelsey, after she made a public interest disclosure of her suspicions of possible misconduct by Luke Smith to the CCC.

Mr Holt, for Phil Pidgeon, asked Ms Bradley about her secretly taping a conversation she had with her then fellow councillor in his office on May 24, 2017, months before issues about Ms Kelsey arose.

The court heard Ms Bradley only revealed the existence of the recording on Monday, the first day of the committal hearing.

Mr Holt asked Ms Bradley why she had breached the trust of a colleague by secretly recording a one-on-one conversation with her fellow councillor.

She said she supposed she had wanted proof of what had transpired at an earlier committee of the whole budget meeting and to find out why Mr Pidgeon had changed his vote to support mayor Smith.

When asked whether that was the first time she had recorded an interaction without consent, Ms Bradley said she had done it on a couple of occasions.

She said she also had recorded a conversation with a council employee, Todd Rohle, a former Logan Council CEO under Luke Smith.

Ms Bradley was one of four councillors who also secretly recorded councillors' meetings.

She said she could not recall why she deleted the audio recordings after transcribing them.

The court also heard of a coffee shop meeting of some "Team Luke'' councillors - those aligned with Luke Smith - which Ms Bradley found out about.

Ms Bradley said she went to the coffee shop and took photos of cars parked outside to see who was there.

She said in her statement that she felt "something was wrong'' because the meeting was off-site and only some people were invited to attend.

Jeff Hunter QC, for Luke Smith, asked Ms Bradley several times whether she was aware that she was making very serious allegations against a number of people, before she answered "yes''.

Laurie Koranski. Picture: Annette Dew
Laurie Koranski. Picture: Annette Dew

Mr Hunter suggested to Ms Kelso that she was being deliberately obstructive in some of her answers to his questions because she had become "a rusted-on backer of Ms Kelso''.

Earlier, ex-councillor Laurie Koranski, another witness for the CCC, also was questioned about her clandestine recording of fellow councillors at meetings, in the lead up to Ms Kelsey being dismissed.

She said she had once secretly recorded a conversation with Luke Smith.

The charges are being defended and the hearing is expected to run for two weeks.

It is not illegal to record private conversations without consent in Queensland if you are a party to the conversation.

Originally published as Logan councillor admits secretly taping colleague



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