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Charges against ex-Mayor dropped midway through hearing

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A former southeast Queensland mayor has had two misconduct charges dropped part way through a committal hearing.

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Former Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Allan Sutherland was accused of manipulating the timing and scope of a project affecting land he bought in 2010 in Burpengary that he intended to develop, the Brisbane Magistrates Court was told last year.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick – who was previously the planning minister – took the stand during the hearing in October.

But on Thursday, prosecutor Sarah Farnden told the court submissions from defence barrister Saul Holt had been considered and the Crown had decided not to proceed further with charges.

Sutherland was accused of misconduct after an investigation by the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

Prosecutors accused him of trying to influence the timing and scope of a council project between December 2017 and December 2018 despite having a conflict of interest.

A second charge alleged Sutherland lobbied for a change in local government planning scheme amendments affecting service stations for personal gain.

He was stood down as mayor after being charged by the state’s corruption watchdog in December 2019.

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