Monday, 21 September 2009

Council Communications Manager sacked for "gross misconduct"

Kerie Hull's role as Corporate Communications Manager with the Cairns Regional Council, was terminated today, following a meeting with Acting CEO, Peter Tabulo.

Hull was employed just one year ago this week. She leaves the role following four months of leave after she was named for wrong-doing in a controversial $17,000 ratepayer-funded report about a radio deal she struck with 486am to get Mayor Val Schier on John Mackenzie's talkback show.

Ms Hull received no payout, unlike the former CEO Noel Briggs who resigned suddenly under a cloud of the same investigation. Hull's extended leave was also subject to a WorkCover claim, that is expected to not be upheld.

Peter Tabulo said that Hull's sacking was because she breached her contract.

"There was gross misconduct,”he told Cairns Post reporter, and birthday boy, Thomas Chamberlin.

It's now about time that this whole horrible saga be put to rest so everyone can move on, and rebuild, least of all, Council's shattered reputation with the community.

Today's sacking is not just about Kerie Hull. Councillors Alan Blake and Sno Bonneau and former CEO Noel Briggs need to accept their part in all this torrid affair, and the devastating effect the last few months has caused for everyone involved. Their involvement in this is nothing short of disgraceful and serious professional misconduct.

As complicit as Kerie Hull was, she operated in an environment that fostered and encouraged the behaviour that led to her downfall. Whilst I don't agree with her proactive participation in the improper conduct found in the Henry Report findings, I hope she reveals publicly the regime that Noel Briggs allowed. The culture that seven Councillors inherited in March 2008, was one of coercion and secrets. It followed eight years of a Mayor that restricted public access to Council and actively took legal action against many citizens, including myself, for merely speaking out.

Following Briggs resignation, and today's events, we are seeing the last remnants of that era being rejected and dismantled.

When Ms Hull gets her feet on the ground and celebrates getting rid of the Council from her resume, I hope she squarely takes aim at those that betrayed and set her up, and publically tell her story. She may however, need to remove her rose-tinted glasses as one of those people, is very close to her.

15 comments:

CBD Warrior said...

The "bad era" will not be over until Peter Tabulo gets the sack. He's proven to be unable and unwilling to protect the environment and amenity of Cairns.

Thornton On Spence said...

Oh dear CBD Warrior. Your latest squeeze gets the bullet and you call for the head of the person responsible for removing her. You have not let us down with your double standards but standby because Desley is about to deal you a big surprise.

I Am The Stig said...

Now I would assume that Cr Blake will not need to collect Kerie Hull's kids from school as she should have time on her hands now. It does pose the question though on how he can get 2 kids in a 2 seater car. Now this should be interesting to see how Blakes alter ego CBD Warrior will respond to this FACT.

Blogster said...

I hate to admit it...but there is a first for everything...I agree with Warrior...

Cairns Resident said...

and don't forget Ms Hull was buoyed along by an era of unprecedented Mayor bashing. McKenzie was roaring away on his radio program about how "HATED the Mayor is"; Gavin King was firing off weekly vindictive sallies, firing up the animosity and The Cairns Post were regularly writing anti Val Editorials.....
In such an atmosphere, certain people will "go with the flow" and won't need too much coercion to do extra harm.

I Am The Stig said...

Lets not forget that without this Blog the whole affair may have been swept under the Carpet but the persistance of Mike and the Bloggers kept this more than in the eyes of the Public and is what makes this Blog such an important part of Journalism in Cairns. Well done Mike.

nocturnal congress said...

...erm, Thornton, old china-plate, mate, my ears have pricked up. Do tell us what "big surprise" Desley is about to deal CBD Warrior?? C'mon...have a beer...

Thadeus O'Kane said...

Again Michael Moore is breaking stories of community interest. Well done.
You know, Hull should not have been sacked. The very moment she realised she did not like the Mayor and could not be loyal to her, Hull should have considered her position and resigned. Instead she stayed on doing a hopeless job in keeping the public informed about council activities and working closely with Blake, Bonneau, Briggs and Cochrane to undermine the Mayor.
She doesn't deserve a payout because she grossly underperformed and did not meet the terms of her employment.
Thanks for your fearless and honest news coverage, Mike. Your efforts have resulted in creating new opportunities for the council and our community.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

I would like Tabulo to finish any more guillotining of heads that need to roll at the Council, & then publish the Henry Report. I think the community deserves it.

What about the Cochrane, Blake & Bonneau connection? For it was indeed Bonneau who blew this situation open at an open monthly Council Meeting, without informing the Mayor.

Obviously it was intended to discredit the Mayor, & possibly to destabilise the Council to the point of no return.

Todays coverage in the Compost today is 'beat-up & confusion as usual', & the Editorial is a disgusting, wilful attempt to further discredit the Council. I won't go through the inadequacies of it all but: "Regardless of who is to blame, the issue has shown the Coucnil is teetering on the verge of dysfunctionality". Right.

It's a shame, it seems Andrew Webster has indeed gone to the Dark Side - whomever they might be.
And we had such high hopes a small while ago when Mark Alxander & Gavin King departed. We thought we might get something approaching competent, concise,intelligent journalism, but all we get is confusing (&the writing/editing IS confusing), emotional, irrational, bullshit.

Are you still waiting in wings KB? Pigs can fly easier than you [literally].

Yes, as the above have said, congrats Mike on your dogged & wide-reaching fact-gathering, and intelligent reportage.

Shaun J, Brisbane said...

What a charmer she is. Karma is a bitch Kerrie!!!

Chow Chow said...

Here here Lilian at Yorkeys - couldn't agree more. And as for the rubbish in the Post that council staff were depressed about Kerie Hull getting the sack - what a joke - it's smiles and quiet cheers all around.

Sir Humphrey said...

Ah stig like an old dog worrying the same bone ! The removal of Hull was neccesaary and will no doubt be followed by the removal of a few concillors at the next election. As for the staff I am sure they are glad to see her back going out the door

I Am The Stig said...

Sir Humphrey
I understand the majority of employees at CRC used the old expression as she left "Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out". There were many happy faces as she left although one Councillors Cubicle could be heard tapping out a Warney like Text Message.
Interestingly a lady I respect greatly, Pat Morish, ran to the defence of Ms Hull through the Cairns Post which makes you wonder if Pat supports serial adulterers.

Guido the Plumber said...

Well what do you expect. Bonneau, Blake, Cochrane, Hull, Briggs, Pat Morrish, they all form part of the establishment. They follow orders!!

Ming said...

I thought that ABC Far North office has always been a Liberal party enclave anyway. Charlie still working there?