Australia New Gold Coast Council CEO David Edwards found to have committed misconduct in his former role
MAFS records HUGE ratings success on premiere of season eight
The average national viewership was 1.255 million, with 964,000 people from the five major cities tuning in and 291,000 from regional Australia . Scroll down for video © Provided by Daily Mail Still number one! Married At First Sight was a ratings success for Channel Nine on Monday. Pictured: new MAFS couple Beck Zemek and Jake Edwards Nine's programming director Hamish Turner told Media Week on Tuesday: 'We are thrilled to see Australia once again fall in love with Married At First Sight.
The man selected as the Gold Coast council's new chief executive on a salary package worth more than $600,000 a year was recently found to have committed three counts of misconduct by a state government department, ABC Investigations can reveal.
A senior bureaucrat in the Queensland Government, David Edwards, was last month chosen from a field of 80 candidates to be Gold Coast City Council chief executive.
But ABC Investigations can reveal he had already been the subject of an internal departmental investigation which found, late last year, that Mr Edwards had used government resources for personal purposes and had not declared conflicts of interest.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding speaks about her first year in office
It's been almost a year since Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding was elected to take on one of Australia's most controversial councils.As fate would have it, the former federal candidate was in the Queensland Parliament the day the council was sacked, watching on as a division was called on whether to dismiss Ipswich City Council in August 2018.
In a statement, Mr Edwards has described the misconduct findings made against him as baseless, saying he was never afforded natural justice during the investigation process.
"I totally reject the allegations and the conduct of the investigation," he said.
"It concerns me greatly that processes designed to protect whistleblowers and guard against misconduct and corruption, are increasingly being weaponised for personal vendettas."
At the time the investigation was launched, Mr Edwards was the powerful Projects Chief Executive at the Queensland Department of Innovation and Tourism, Industry Development.
Before that he was the Projects Chief Executive and Director-General of the Department of State Development.
Eagles claim first win in AFLW thriller
West Coast speedster Mikayla Bowen has put in a brilliant display to help lead her side to a one-point AFLW victory over Gold Coast.West Coast led 25-11 early in the third quarter of Sunday's match despite the inside 50m count reading 22-5 in favour of Gold Coast.
Mr Edwards also held senior positions in the bureaucracy during the LNP Government of Campbell Newman.
ABC Investigations understands the misconduct findings relate to a period between 2015 and 2020.
One substantiated allegation was that Mr Edwards failed to disclose or manage an actual or possible conflict of interest arising from his role as Project Chief and financial delegate for a stadium upgrade and his personal relationship with two Price Waterhouse Coopers executives.
The accounting firm was appointed as consultants to the project.
He was also found to have engaged in misconduct by failing to declare a conflict of interest regarding his role on a panel which recruited a woman he was friends with.
The woman was brought into the department as a senior executive and it was found Mr Edwards later approved a $30,000 payment for her to participate in an executive fellowship program.
MAFS' Jake Edwards' secret rendezvous with Bachelor's Jess Brody
From cheating scandals to a secret rendezvous with a Bachelor star: Married At First Sight’s Jake Edwards’ rocky start to the season Barely a week in, MAFS is already causing quite the stir, and one particular groom seems to be at the forefront of most of the controversy. Jake Edwards was one of the first grooms to walk down the aisle during Married At First Sight Australia's new season, and the former AFL player has tracked quite the trail of scandal in his wake. Before the show even began, Jake, 32, was involved in a cheating scandal with his ex-fiancé Paige, when friends of hers called him out on social media.
Mr Edwards was also found to have used staff to undertake errands and manage his personal affairs and that he used departmental premises and facilities for personal purposes.
The ABC understands his employment contract with the department had ended before the investigation was finalised, so no disciplinary action was taken.
The investigation concluded that if Mr Edwards was still in his department role he would have faced termination.
In his statement to the ABC, Mr Edwards said the investigation provided him with no natural justice.
"I did not even know what the allegations were. The formal allegations were not made known to me until several weeks after my contract had concluded. They were baseless and I chose to strongly respond to, and reject, these allegations," he said.
"I was not interviewed during these processes but public service colleagues, at great personal risk, advised me however that the way the investigations were being conducted concerned them greatly, as there seemed to be a predetermined outcome and an effort to target me."
Queensland police divers search for firearm in Parramatta River allegedly used in fatal cold case shooting of Omega Ruston
A cold case homicide investigation into the shooting death of Omega Ruston on a Gold Coast highway takes Queensland police to New South Wales where police divers are scouring Parramatta River for a firearm believed to have been used to kill Mr Ruston.It follows revelations the gun used in Mr Ruston's killing has been linked to the drive-by shooting of a Sydney tattoo parlour in 2008.
Mr Edwards was selected by the Gold Coast City Council out of a field of 80 candidates, which was later whittled down to half-a-dozen.
One of the contenders was the incumbent CEO Dale Dickson.
The decision to appoint Mr Edwards was confirmed by a 14-1 vote by Gold Coast councillors.
Mayor Tom Tate described Mr Edwards as "the best choice for the city".
ABC Investigations asked the Gold Coast City Council if the Mayor was aware of the misconduct findings against Mr Edwards when he voted for his appointment.
Councillor Tate declined to comment.
Mr Edwards said after being successful in the selection process for the CEO, he "fully disclosed the matter to Mayor Tom Tate".
"After due consideration and advice, the Mayor determined that the findings would in no way prevent me from undertaking the role. It was only after complete disclosure that he executed my contract," Mr Edwards said.
Only councillor Peter Young voted against Mr Edwards' appointment, telling The Gold Coast Bulletin that the incumbent Mr Dickson was an exceptional administrator with "very strong ethics".
The CEO is the top administrative position in council and councillors must notify the CEO in writing of any declarable conflicts of interest they may have.
CEOs also have the power to do preliminary assessments of misconduct and corrupt conduct complaints against councillors and local government employees.
On the Gold Coast, the CEO's salary package is worth between $600,000-700,000 a year.
The Gold Coast City Council has a budget of $1.7 billion, making it the second largest local government in the country.
Male celebs with fearless fashion sense .
Fashion has been evolving quickly over the past few years, along with our perceptions of masculinity. The Met Gala 2019 was a turning point for men’s fashion, with many male celebrities topping the best dressed lists for their groundbreaking looks. The black tux will no longer cut it on the red carpet! Click through the following gallery to see male celebs who rock their fluidity.