Brunker cleared by CMC

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council Mayor Mike Brunker has been cleared by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

In a statement released yesterday, the CMC said they had found no evidence of misconduct.

“As a result of an extensive investigation into 17 allegations of misconduct against Mr Brunker, the CMC cleared him of any wrong-doing,” the statement said.

The statement from the CMC said that while they had found no evidence of official misconduct, the investigation identified a number of minor issues of non-compliance with council policy concerning corporate credit card use.

“The Whitsunday Regional Council has subsequently agreed to address these issues in conjunction with the Queensland Audit Office.

“The allegations arose largely out of perceptions held by members of the public concerning possible misconduct by elected or appointed officials of local government in using public resources.

“The investigation did not support such perceptions,” the statement said.

Mr Brunker is on leave as mayor during the federal election campaign as he is standing as the Labor candidate in the seat of Dawson.

He said yesterday that he welcomed the decision and looked forward to putting what he described as a “baseless smear campaign” behind him.

“When you're in public life, you can always expect that people will throw stones,” he said.

“In this case however, I'd welcome the complainants making a full apology – to me and my family, and to the CMC for wasting their time,” he said.

The investigation concerned the alleged conduct of Cr Brunker, dating back to 2001 and covering allegations of misuse of council resources, release of confidential information for private advantage and biased exercise of decision making with respect to sale/purchase of land favouring private as opposed to public interest.

The CMC first received the complaints in May 2009.

The CMC investigators interviewed more than 60 witnesses and reviewed documentary evidence including documents supplied by various witnesses.

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