Is this farewell to yet another council CEO?
MONTHS of uncertainty, legal wrangling and a chief executive officer earning $1000 a day for staying home came to an end last Monday when councillors moved to cut ties with the man overseeing Sydney’s second biggest council.
Mark Stapleton had been under investigation since September over allegations, denied by Mr Stapleton, he faked his CV to land the $500,000-a-year job at Parramatta Council. An independent report by former Industrial Relations Commissioner Jane Seymour was tabled at the council meeting in closed session, but it’s understood the findings were inconclusive despite some holes being found in his previous work experience.
Councillors were tightlipped after the marathon fivehour meeting, but sources say the trigger for the decision was around Mr Stapleton’s alleged relationship with staff.
Labor councillor Pierre Esber, who originally voted to appoint Mr Stapleton to the CEO job, told the ABC there were “some anomalies” in Mr Stapleton’s references.
“Some of them were quite minor, some of them were quite serious … there was one position where he said he was in a certain position and he was contradicted by his boss who said ‘no he never held that position, he held the junior position of that’ so that didn’t go down well with us,” Cr Esber said.
The council’s resolution, which it’s believed had one dissenter, authorised acting chief executive Sue Coleman and Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson to “negotiate” with Mr Stapleton in relation to the terms of his contract. If he agrees to the terms offered, Mr Stapleton will be the third straight council chief executive officer to receive a six-figure severance package.
He is in line for a 38-week payout, taking the cost to ratepayers to in excess of $560,000 since his suspension.
Mr Stapleton was appointed to the CEO role in late June after an 8-7 vote in the council chamber.
A report tabled at a council meeting found ‘some anomalies’ in Mark Stapleton’s references. Picture: AAP/Julian Andrews.