REVEALED: CEO's fight to dismiss 'malicious' rumours
FRASER Coast council CEO Ken Diehm has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a statutory declaration to deny rumours he claims have been spread about his job performance.
It comes less than 18 months after he was appointed to the role to fix major cultural issues which have plagued the divided council in recent years.
In the legal letter, issued to councillors on August 6 and viewed by the Chronicle, Mr Diehm claimed a number of rumours were being "actively promoted to councillors" in relation to his "credibility and integrity".
An attached document obtained by the Chronicle reveals Mr Diehm declared under the Queensland Oaths Act 1867:
"I am not aware of, and have not been involved, in any plans that have the aims of generating formal complaints against any councillor or councillors.
"I am not aware of, and have not been involved in, any plans that have the aim of bringing the council into disrepute so that it would be dismissed by the Government.
"I have not expressed an interest in applying for a vacant position in another Local Government since my appointment with the Fraser Coast Regional Council."
Mr Diehm told councillors the "repeated promotion" of these rumours has had a significant impact on his physical and emotional well-being and had been a major distraction to doing what he was elected to do.
"In my 32 years in Local Government I have never had to defend my integrity and credibility to councillors in this way, but I feel compelled to do so in this case because of the severity of the allegations," the letter read.
Yesterday, Mr Diehm told the Chronicle he addressed the councillors under oath "to put any concerns to bed, once and for all."
"I enjoy a very positive relationship with the council and feel privileged to have been welcomed into the Fraser Coast community since on taking on the role as CEO of the council," Mr Diehm said.
"Apart from being false, these rumours were malicious and I was concerned about their impact if I allowed them to remain unchallenged."
Since being appointed to the role, Mr Diehm has made sweeping changes to the council's culture, once identified as "toxic" by State Government advisors.
The council's TRAITS (Trust, Respect, Accountability, Initiative, Teamwork, Service) value model has resulted in 40 new positions being created.