RESIDENT Sandy Bathgate says Bathurst Regional Council has been brought into disrepute by councillor Alex Christian and the city deserves better from its representatives following the resolution of a code of conduct complaint.
A code of conduct complaint lodged by Mr Bathgate was discussed during the confidential session of Bathurst Regional Council's meeting last Wednesday night.
Having considered a report from an independent reviewer, council voted to formally censure Cr Christian under Section 440G of the Local Government Act.
Cr Christian has since told the Western Advocate that he would accept the decision but he didn't agree with the findings.
"Frankly, I'm more worried about fighting to get NSW BreastScreen open again and focusing on issues that concern the community than worrying about this sort of stuff," he said.
"I'd like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support in dealing with this matter; it's been overwhelming."
Mr Bathgate said in a statement to the Western Advocate that he had been "publicly defamed and denigrated" on Cr Christian's Facebook page "in the context of the vexed go-kart track [on Mount Panorama] issue".
In announcing the decision last week, council's general manager David Sherley said the reasons for the censure included that Cr Christian allowed three untrue statements, posted by a user named Robert Throng, to remain on his public Facebook page for at least two weeks, some of which said Mr Bathgate was "looking at" and "interested in" soft porn.
Mr Bathgate said in his statement that he had been informed that the Bathurst Regional Council general manager had "never before had to deal with formal censure of a councillor".
"This shows how serious and shameful this circumstance is," he said.
Mr Bathgate said he had been provided with a summary of the investigator's report into the code of conduct complaint, which found that the comments on Cr Christian's Facebook page were "disrespectful, lacking in credibility, obscene, threatening, harassing, abusive, defamatory, intimidating, belittling, humiliating, and spread malicious rumours".
"I note the Councillor Alex J. Christian Facebook page has over 1,000 followers, so it is by no means a small group of Bathurst people that have been exposed to the defamatory comments made about me," Mr Bathgate said.
Council resolved last week to defer any further consideration of a separate code of conduct complaint against Cr Christian from Cr Jess Jennings pending a supplementary report from the investigator.
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