CEO Code Of Conduct Report Released

City of Newcastle

City of Newcastle (CN) has proactively released the full independent Investigation Report into the CEO Code of Conduct Review, which cleared Jeremy Bath of alleged wrongdoing.

The Code of Conduct investigation was undertaken by an independent Conduct Reviewer, Pinnacle Integrity, following a series of Newcastle Herald reports linking the CEO to letters submitted to the newspaper by his friend Scott Neylon. This prompted a Council resolution on 25 July 2023 and a request from the Minister for Local Government on 26 July 2023, along with a complaint submitted by former Councillor Mr Bob Cook on 30 July 2023.

The investigation was undertaken in line with the NSW Government’s prescribed Procedure for Administration of the Code of Conduct, and considered allegations that the CEO provided confidential information to a friend for the purpose of writing letters to the editor, and or wrote letters to the editor under his friend’s name.

The investigation report details evidence from multiple parties. It found that the allegations against the CEO were not substantiated.

In January 2024, CN proactively released a copy of the outcome letter, which is a summary of the investigation and its findings.

Despite the Code of Conduct Procedures requiring all information to be treated as confidential and not publicly disclosed, the release of the full investigation report follows unprecedented leaking of confidential information related to the report by complainant Mr Cook, and extensive reporting on this information (on several occasions with significant error) by the Newcastle Herald.

As a result of Mr Cook’s repeated breaches of the Code of Conduct procedure, CN has commenced the process to seek the consent of the Office of Local Government to restrict any future information regarding complaints being provided to Mr Cook.

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