Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Gold Coast City councillor decision
16 October 2020
Gold Coast City Councillor Glenn Tozer has been found to have engaged in misconduct for requesting free tickets to a Cat Empire concert.
He was fined $250 and ordered to make a public admission of misconduct.
Cr Tozer was referred to the Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA), having sent a private Facebook message to the owner of the live music venue NightQuarter.
The message on 19 September 2018 asked if Cr Tozer and his wife could be put on the “guest list” for the concert which was to be held four days later.
The venue owner said he felt uncomfortable about the request, but provided the free tickets given Cr Tozer’s potential ability to influence Gold Coast City Council decisions that could impact on his business.
He said Cr Tozer ran “Summertime Sessions”, council-funded live music events which were sometimes in competition with NightQuarter, and that he had previously raised business concerns with the councillor.
Initially Cr Tozer told the OIA that the venue owner engaged with him to attend the Cat Empire performance in his role as a volunteer music writer for Blank magazine, and not as a councillor, however he later told the CCT that he made the request for tickets as a friend of the businessman.
The NightQuarter owner denied a friendship existed and said at the time of the request he was not aware the councillor was a contributor to Blank.
In sustaining the misconduct allegation, the CCT found that Cr Tozer breached the high standards of ethical behaviour required of him as a councillor.
It found that by requesting to be on the door list Cr Tozer received benefits which were unavailable to other members of the public.
When handing down the sanctions against the councillor, the CCT noted he lacked insight into his conduct prompting the need for a personal as well as a general deterrent.
It is the second CCT determination against Cr Tozer who was previously found to have engaged in misconduct by failing to declare an honorary membership of the Gold Coast Turf Club on his register of interests.
The Councillor Conduct Tribunal decision can be found here.
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Last updated: 16 Oct 2020