NEW POSITION: Former chief executive Lisa Desmond at a council meeting.
NEW POSITION: Former chief executive Lisa Desmond at a council meeting. Valerie Horton

High-flying new job for sacked Fraser Coast council CEO

MORE than two years after Lisa Desmond was dismissed from her position as the chief executive officer of the Fraser Coast council, she has taken up a role at the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

A spokeswoman from WBHHS said following an open and extensive recruitment process, MsDesmond had been appointed to the position of the director of Information Services and Performance Analytics.

"This role reports to Scott McConnel, executive director, finance and performance," she said.

"Prior to being appointed to the role, MsDesmond worked as a contracted adviser to WBHHS on information systems governance, in preparation for WBHHS implementing new information and communication technologies, such as the statewide Integrated Electronic Medical Record."

A message from MrMcConnel welcoming MsDesmond into the role was leaked online.

In the message, he said MsDesmond had been instrumental in leading and developing the information and communications, technology and information management strategy for the organisation.

Ms Desmond's time at the council was tumultuous.

She was subjected to vicious false rumours during her tenure, being forced to publicly refute claims she had improper relationships with then-mayor Gerard O'Connell and current councillor Stuart Taylor.

At the time, MsDesmond slammed the accusations.

Then in February 2017, a special meeting of the council voted in favour of removing MsDesmond from her position after an ongoing feud between she and then-mayor Chris Loft was described by a local government department report as creating a "toxic" working environment that included allegations CrLoft gained access to monitor MsDesmond's work email account. However, he denied using the access.

The relationship between CrLoft and MsDesmond was the "single biggest issue" plaguing the council, according to the report, which was handed down in November 2016.

Ms Desmond later launched a $3.9million lawsuit against the council and the 11 councillors in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

In documents lodged with the court, MsDesmond alleged the councillors falsely painted her as a "bully" who lodged "baseless complaints" against those who opposed her; that she misled councillors; and that she built a "culture of favouritism" in a toxic work environment rife in "fear of reprisal and low morale".

She claimed her "good character and reputation" were damaged because the councillors opened her to "ridicule and contempt".

Court records show the suit was discontinued by MsDesmond on December21, 2018.

When contacted, MsDesmond was tight-lipped on the matter but confirmed the case had been settled out of court.

"The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties outside of the court," MsDesmond said, indicating the terms of the agreement were strictly confidential.

About a year after her dismissal, MrLoft was also sacked from his position as mayor, with Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe saying he had exercised his power under the Local Government Act to recommend the Governor-in-Council dismiss MrLoft.

Mr Hinchliffe said there had been 11 findings of either inappropriate conduct or misconduct against CrLoft.

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