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Misuse of information case prosecuted

Councillors are often privy to confidential or sensitive information that is important to the business of the municipality.

Following a recent investigation into the improper use of information, former Murrindindi Shire councillor Chris Healy was convicted on five charges of misuse of position.

On five separate occasions, Mr Healy attempted to gain an advantage by making improper use of information, acquired while a councillor, regarding Murrindindi Shire’s proposed rating strategy.

Magistrate John Murphy handed down his decision on 10 October at Shepparton Magistrates Court, convicting Mr Healy on all five charges and ordering him to pay a $10,000 fine and $20,000 towards prosecution legal costs.

Magistrate Murphy said there are “very high standards set by the community for elected officials, in this case council, and such offences undermine the duties of councillors”.

Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said: "It is important that any person who holds or has held the office of councillor not misuse information they are privy to for personal gain. This finding supports the integrity expectations for the office of councillor."

Update: Mr Healy has appealed the conviction and a directions hearing is set for 22 January 2019 in the County Court.