SEPTEMBER 14 2016 – 6:49PM
Benjamin Preiss and Richard Willingham
The head of Parks Victoria has been forced to stand down over “inappropriate behaviour” which the state’s anti-corruption watchdog is to investigate.
The Parks Victoria board forced Bradley Fauteux’s hand after he had served less than a year in the job.
The case is to be referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said while the matter was under investigation, the behaviour had breached public service standards.
“That’s a matter that’s under investigation at the moment, but certainly one that has breached the various standards of the public service board, and also behaviours that are appropriate to a CEO of such an important organisation,” she said.
Parks Victoria confirmed Mr Fauteux’s employment had “concluded” on Wednesday.
Parks Victoria chairman Andrew Fairley said the termination resulted from “unacceptable conduct” that breached Parks Victoria’s values and ethics policy and the Victorian public sector code of conduct.
“We are determined that this matter will not interrupt the excellent progress that Parks Victoria has been making,” Mr Fairley said.
Mr Fairley, however, praised Mr Fauteux as an “outstanding communicator” of the importance of Parks Victoria.
Mr Fauteux began work as chief executive in November last year, having served as managing director of Ontario Parks.
Ms D’Ambrosio declined to reveal details about the “serious allegations” Mr Fauteux was facing.
“They are matters that go to the undermining of certain standards that are required of members of the public service.”
She said Parks Victoria was also conducting its own investigation.
However, Ms D’Ambrosio said a fair process must now be followed.
Ms D’Ambrosio said her office became aware in mid-August that the board had concerns about Mr Fauteux’s conduct and learnt yesterday of the final decision to “terminate his employment”.
When asked if Mr Fauteux would be paid out, Ms D’Ambrosio said the Parks Victoria board was required to give him four weeks’ notice under his contract, but as of Wednesday he had no further involvement with Parks Victoria.
Mr Fauteux told Fairfax Media in December that Parks Victoria could almost be described as the “department of fun”.
At the time he said he believed being active in nature was “core to who I am”.
He was reportedly paid an annual salary of $242,000 at Parks Victoria.
Parks Victoria’s chief legal counsel Margaret Gillespie has been appointed acting chief executive. The search to find a replacement for Mr Fauteux will begin immediately.
Fairfax Media attempted to contact Mr Fauteux.
Source : The Age