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South Gippsland Shire councillor charged

28 May 2019 - The Local Government Inspectorate has charged South Gippsland Shire councillor Andrew McEwen with one charge of misuse of position.

Cr McEwen has been summonsed to appear in Korumburra Magistrates’ Court on 4 July 2019.

The Inspectorate will allege that Cr McEwen provided a Tarwin Lower resident with information in January 2018. At the time, the resident was involved in a proceeding against South Gippsland Shire Council in the Supreme Court.

Under section 76D(1) of the Local Government Act 1989, it is an offence for a person holding the position of councillor to misuse their position by making improper use of information to gain or attempt to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for another person.

The maximum penalty for the offence, if proven, is 600 penalty units ($95,142 at the date of the offence) or imprisonment for five years or both. Anyone convicted of this offence is also disqualified from holding the office of councillor for eight years.

As the matter is now before the courts, no further comment can be made at this time.