Sorry order appealed by ex-councillor

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

A former Shire of Denmark councillor has appealed a decision ordering her to make a public apology for comments she made on social media about the council.

Yasmin Bartlett received an order from the Local Government Standards Panel in October to apologise to former Shire chief executive Dale Stewart and councillors during an ordinary council meeting, over comments on Facebook about Mr Stewart and aspects of his work.

Ms Bartlett resigned from the council in August, after being elected to the Scotsdale-Shadforth Ward in October, 2015.

Under the Local Government Act elected council members are to “refrain from publicly criticising staff in a way that casts aspersions on their professional competence and credibility”.

But Ms Bartlett will argue at a State Administrative Tribunal hearing in that she was only sharing matters of public interest.

“A particular community member asked questions on Facebook demanding some answers — so I choose to exercise my right to tell the truth,” Ms Bartlett said.

Ms Bartlett said the situation had left her distressed and had cost her reputation and income.

“I got known as the councillor who destroyed Denmark,” she said.

“I got threats to stand down now, or my business and reputation would be destroyed.”

But Ms Bartlett said she holds no issue with the Shire of Denmark, she only wished to build her reputation back in the community and put the matter to rest.

The Shire of Denmark was contacted for comment, but did not respond before print deadline.

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