To date Operation Front has resulted in eight elected officials from Logan City Council being charged with 14 serious criminal offences.
Operation Front is one of the most significant investigations the CCC has ever carried out. It was the first time in the 30-year history of the CCC and its predecessor organisations that eight elected officials had been charged at one time and from one public institution.
Operation Front commenced in November 2017 after evidence relating to Logan City Council was uncovered during Operation Belcarra. At its commencement, the investigation focused on the then Mayor of Logan City Council, however as the investigation progressed, other allegations also warranted further investigation.
To date Operation Front has resulted in eight elected officials from Logan City Council being charged with 14 serious criminal offences, as follows.
In April 2018, the CCC charged suspended Mayor Luke Smith with four criminal offences:
- Two counts of perjury relating to evidence he gave at Operation Belcarra [2 x perjury contrary to section 123 of the Criminal Code]
- One count of official corruption [1 x Official Corruption contrary to section 87 of the Criminal Code] and
- One count of failing to correct his register of interests [1 x Failing to correct his Register of Interests contrary to Section 171B of the Local Government Act 2009]
In April 2019, Mr Smith was charged with further criminal offences:
- Two counts of Misconduct in relation to Public Office contrary to Section 92A of the Criminal Code. The CCC will allege he interfered in a recruitment process with an intent to dishonestly gain a benefit for another person, and secondly, that he commenced a dishonest probation process with an intent to dishonestly cause a detriment to another person. The maximum penalty for each misconduct in public office offence under the Criminal Code is seven years imprisonment.
- One count of fraud contrary to Section 408C(1)(e) (2A).
As well as Mr Smith, seven current serving councillors have each been charged with one count of fraud contrary to Section 408C(1)(e) (2A). The councillors are:
- Russell Lutton (Division 2)
- Stephen Swenson (Division 3)
- Cherie Dalley (Division 6 and Deputy Mayor)
- Laurence Smith (Division 7)
- Philip Pidgeon (Division 9)
- Trevina Schwarz (Division 11)
- Jennifer Breene (Division 12)
The CCC will allege that Mr Smith and the Councillors dishonestly caused a detriment, namely the dismissal of employment, to the former CEO. The CCC will further allege the detriment was of a value of at least $100 000, meaning that the maximum penalty under the Criminal Code for this fraud offence is 20 years imprisonment.
This investigation remains ongoing.
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