Mayoral candidate charged with corruption by CCC
A MORETON BAY councillor has been charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission following an investigation into his dealings with a developer.
Cr Adrian Raedel, who had aspirations of running for mayor, has stood down from his role as a councillor and said in a statement he will dedicate his time now to defending the charges.
In March last year, Cr Raedel was reported to the Crime and Corruption Commission after allegations that he tried to overturn a planning decision for a long-time donor.
"This morning, a 42-year-old man from Wamuran was charged with one count of official corruption following an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) into allegations of corrupt conduct relating to Moreton Bay Regional Council," A CCC spokesman said.
"It will be alleged the man, a current councillor, corruptly received benefits including a sum of money, prepaid travel, accommodation and advertising.
"He was charged at Fortitude Valley Police Station this morning with Official Corruption, contrary to section 87(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
"He is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 17 July 2019.
"The CCC's investigation remains ongoing. The CCC will advise the Local Government Minister of today's charge.
"As the investigation remains ongoing and this matter is now before the court, is not appropriate for the CCC to comment further."
A report in The Australian last April claimed that Cr Raedel, who had planned on running for the position of mayor at the next council election, lobbied his fellow councillors to go against a staff recommendation and approve the proposed Narangba Community Shopping Precinct, lodged by developer Tosh Murphy.
Mr Murphy has donated thousands of dollars worth of campaign material to Cr Raedel since 2008. Mr Murphy has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The report also claimed that Cr Raedel lived "rent-free" in a house owned by Mr Murphy, did not fully declare a business-class trip he took with Mr Murphy to China and "ripped into the town planners" during a councillor briefing session.
"I signed a contract on the house, took vacant possession of the house and moved in," he said in April last year.
"It was not rent-free as such. It's not unusual to do that."
Cr Raedel said that at the briefing session, he didn't try to influence the councillors' vote on the proposed Narangba Community Shopping Precinct, but suggested they needed more information before voting.
He said the planning staff had worked with the developer for two years with regular pre-lodgement meetings and as such, the recommendation to reject the proposal was a shock to the developer.
"I did say to the councillors that I believe the goalposts have been moved and it's up to you guys if you want to ask questions and need more info," he said.
"It was saying these guys (the developer) had worked with the town planners all the way through and had the goalposts moved.
"When it was time to vote, I left the room. I've never voted on Tosh's stuff since he began donating to my campaign."
Cr Raedel today said he had always served the community with everything he had.
"This is because I love the community," he said.
"I love being part of making the lifestyle better.
"My time and assets, everything I have, have exhaustively been given during and before I was a councillor, back when I operated a local business.
"My commitment to this region and the community remain as strong as ever."
Speaking to Pine Rivers Press in April last year, Cr Raedel said the allegations were a "kick in the guts" because he always declared matters involving Mr Murphy.
Moreton Bay Regional Council has been contacted for comment.