Council boss guilty of taxpayer funded romp Get green at council tree plant
FORMER Litchfield Council chief executive Iian Wilson has avoided being locked up over using ratepayer money to bankroll an interstate sex trip.
Wilson, 53, was handed a four-month suspended sentence yesterday after Local Court Judge Greg Smith found him guilty of nine counts of obtaining benefit by deception.
Wilson, who was sacked in May 2015, first fronted court in February after being charged with obtaining a combined $1516 in benefits from the council. It footed the bill for Wilson’s trip to Brisbane and Melbourne, where he cancelled most of his meetings to romp with a married subordinate council staff member.
The prosecution case was that Wilson did no work in Brisbane, and the small amount of work in Melbourne was a ruse to cover up his sexual rendezvous.
Mr Smith said Wilson had committed “a deception by admission” in not telling council’s then statutory administrator Frank Crawley of travel plans.
“He knew, or at least thought it highly unlikely that he would have been directed not to undertake the trip,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said Wilson’s police interview was “punctuated with a series of lies” and that he couldn’t accept the claim he cancelled meetings because of illness in the face of other evidence he had been drinking, playing pool and having sex rather than “convalescing”.
“Frankly that claim was nonsense,” Mr Smith said.
He said that Wilson’s lies could be partly explained by wanting to keep his affair a secret from his wife.
Defence lawyer Peter Maley said Wilson’s convictions amounted to a “serious public stain on his reputation”.
Mr Smith rejected prosecutor Sarah Pringle’s claims Wilson’s crimes justified actual time behind bars.
“I’m not dealing with a case where there is corruption at some high level,” he said.
Wilson, supported in court by his wife, was also ordered to reimburse council the cost of the trip. DARWIN residents have been asked to get their green thumbs out and help the council plant trees today.
The community planting day at Peace Park in Leanyer will see a variety of native species planted, including ghost gums, milkwoods and more.
The gardening follows the removal of 44 trees after they succumbed to common fungal disease.
A further 19 trees were in irreversible decline and were removed for the safety of the community.
Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said the council was determined to rejuvenate and revegetate the area for the enjoyment of the community.
“All of the trees that were removed will be replaced,” he said. “We will be planting more shrubs and vegetation to create habitats for the local wildlife.”
The planting day will run from 8am to noon.
‘Frankly that (Wilson’s) claim was nonsense’ LOCAL COURT JUDGE GREG SMITH
Former Litchfield Council chief executive Iian Wilson has been sentenced over illegitimate trips to Brisbane and Melbourne