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Government NSW, Local Government

Response to the Untimely Termination of Liverpool CEO’s Contract

Liverpool City Councillors 2 mins read

Procedural fairness and due process are fundamental to any investigation.

A divided council lost track of these fundamental principles in voting to terminate the employment of CEO John Ajaka at the Council meeting held on the 29th May 2024.

The termination was voted on despite Liverpool City Council not yet being in possession of the full report into allegations of misconduct by Mr Ajaka, that was initiated by Council resolution at it’s April 2024 meeting.

It is understood that a final report into these allegations had not even been completed by the independent investigator engaged by Council.

As such, Mr Ajaka was not afforded the opportunity to respond to the findings of either an interim or final report prior to a decision being made, as should have occurred in line with the standards of procedural fairness.

As Councillors who voted against the termination, we are seriously concerned about the actions of the Mayor at the Council meeting.

Mayor Mannoun is the claimant in the current investigation and therefore there is a clear conflict of interest.

For him to exercise the deciding vote to determine the outcome undermines the principles of procedural fairness.

The reasons given for termination of Mr Ajaka’s contract are not proven and remain allegations.

Thus, the actions of the Mayor have opened Council to significant risk of breach of contract proceedings.

As a result of the significant concerns we have outlined, we have lodged a rescission motion in accordance with the procedures of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice and our responsibilities under the Local Government Act 1993.

The events of last night have amplified our alarm at the ongoing deterioration of standards of good governance at Liverpool Council.

Signed:

Councillor Dr Betty Green 0488 217 029

Councillor Ali Karnib

Councillor Charishma Kaliyanda 0466 020 544

Councillor Peter Harle 0412 736 956

Councillor Karress Rhodes 0408 679 045

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