Acting Playford boss faced being stood down
It came six months after the former Grand Prix supremo made a comment to a junior female staffer, which was later dealt with informally.
An internal ratepayer-funded inquiry into the incident, involving at least three law firms and a consultancy company, has cost at least $200,000. A Victorian dispute-resolution firm has been hired.
Ahead of local government elections, and while in caretaker mode last week, two special council meetings were held behind closed doors.
Acting chief executive Sam Green later wrote to staff advising of Dr Hemmerling’s leave.
The leaked letter stated, in part, the council “does not condone or excuse” unsafe workplaces. Dr Hemmerling has flagged defamation action over the letter and will seek reputational damages of almost $395,000. In a report, independent law firm Fisher Jeffries detailed “serious matters over the conduct of Mr Green” and the council’s human resources boss, according to a letter Dr Hemmerling’s lawyer, Greg Griffin, sent to the council on Friday.
“The findings and recommendations of Fisher Jeffries are most serious,” Mr Griffin wrote. He alleges multiple management failings, questionable motives, and confidentiality breaches while also asserting the pair was due to be stood down pending a formal probe.
Mr Green, who has since been promoted, and the HR boss recently took sick leave.
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty on Monday wrote to Dr Hemmerling about “conduct concerns”. He wrote: “Separately, and more recently, concerns