Shire of Capel chief executive and president plan to issue defamation concerns notice

Shire of Capel chief executive officer Paul Sheedy has confirmed the council will provide $6000 to pay for legal letters to be issued on behalf of himself and president Murray Scott.

The letters, called “concerns notices”, are the first step in defamation cases. They are usually drafted by a lawyer and inform a potential defendant of the details of a claim.

The issuing of a concerns notice also provides an avenue for the parties to resolve the matter without using formal legal proceedings.

The council approved the allocation of $6000 towards the cost of having the concerns notice issued at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The Mail understands concerns notices will be issued to a number of rate payers, and possibly a media organisation.

It is understood the media organisation made claims about the allocation of council money.

Councillor Michael Southwell revealed on his Facebook page that Councillors Jennifer Scott, Barry Bell, Douglas Kitchen, Brian Hearne, Debra Radisich, Sebastian Shiano and Peter McCleery had voted in favour of the money being allocated. He voted against the motion.

He also said Mr Scott left the room during debate over the motion. Mr Sheedy remained in the room, but declared a financial interest.

Mr Sheedy has since finished his term as chief executive officer of the shire, being replaced by Ian McCabe.