A former high-ranking council employee convicted of misconduct in public office has been granted a retrial after taking his case to the Queensland Court of Appeal.
Craig Kelvin Maudsley was convicted by a jury in July of using his influence to benefit a council contractor to the detriment of a business in 2016.
He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, to be suspended after four months.
The charges relate to landfill being delivered to a disused mine pit that the council planned to rehabilitate and use as a vehicle depot.
Colmine Consulting was appointed to manage the site, charging council $1.50 per tonne of landfill, while third parties were charged a higher rate of between $4.60 and $6 per tonne.
The prosecution claimed Maudsley allowed a non-council company, owned by the officer's friend, to dump tonnes of landfill at the site at the cheaper rate.
Maudsley appealed the conviction arguing the jury was misdirected.
The Court of Appeal found that the appellant acted dishonestly, in that he deliberately deceived employees of Colmine by representing that this material was being delivered by the council.
"That dishonesty was serious and discreditable conduct, but the offence which was charged was not one constituted simply by the making of a misrepresentation, even a fraudulent one," the judgment published on Tuesday found.
Three Appeal Court judges agreed, but only two found it was open to the jury, on "consideration of the evidence as a whole and properly instructed, to conclude that the appellant was guilty of the offence charged".
The former chief operating officer was one of about a dozen people charged from state Crime and Corruption Commission investigations into Ipswich council, alongside former mayors Paul Pisasale and Andrew Antoniolli.
Maudsley is expected to face a retrial in 2022.
Australian Associated Press
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