Incidents cause CCC to investigate council officer's conduct
TWO employees in Ipswich City Council's works and parks department were allegedly ordered to weed the home of a council supervisor, who also traded council property for personal benefit.
The Crime and Corruption Commission is investigating the two incidents after a complaint to Ipswich City Council's chief operating officer was referred to the anti-corruption watchdog.
The senior employee is also alleged to have swapped government property - 40 mature trees from the council's nursery - for a cross trainer.
About 12 months ago the supervisor took two employees and council gardening equipment to her home during work hours.
The employees were ordered to weed and perform general duties in the garden of the council officer's home.
A junior council employee familiar with the incident said staff felt bullied and intimidated by the officer.
"They felt they couldn't say no to her request," the employee said.
The same manager who ordered the staff to tend to her home is also under investigation after she exchanged 40 mature trees from the council nursery to another employee in exchange for a cross trainer for personal use.
The plants, worth about $75 each, were destined for the bin.
The employee who swapped the cross trainer returned the trees to the council after "feeling guilty" receiving them.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the employee.
After complaints were made about the council manager's conduct, Ipswich City Council said it had launched a formal investigation.
The outcome of the investigation was not revealed to the complainant and the officer continued in her role.
"They swept everything under the rug," an employee familiar with the complaint said.
A litany of concerns was raised with Ipswich City Council management within the past year about the supervisor.
Those complaints were only referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission after Greg Chemello's new advisory panel was appointed in August.
The QT can reveal the CCC is now investigating.
A spokesman for the commission declined to comment.
Mr Chemello, the administrator, said the council was conducting an investigation.
"A matter regarding activity at a council-owned nursery is being investigated," he said.
"It is therefore not appropriate for council to comment further."
Employees have been relocated from the supervisor's team after making complaints.
Yesterday, the QT revealed the public was not notified despite two council employees contracting Legionella from the Queens Park nursery.