Council suspends a senior official

MYSTERY surrounds the departure of the Coffs Harbour City Council's assistant general manager, Kyme Lavelle, who is currently not at his desk.

Mr Lavelle has been absent from his office since last Thursday and The Coffs Coast Advocate understands that he has been suspended from his duties.

He did not attend last Thursday's meeting of Coffs Harbour City Council, which ended with the discussion of a confidential item of business.

Mr Lavelle, who is also the director of corporate services for the council, heads the department most closely involved with preparing the council's management plan, which is due to be presented to councillors in April.

He has been working for Coffs Harbour City Council for 33 years and has risen through the ranks of the council's staff to his present post.

He was appointed to his present position by Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steven Sawtell and his contract is not believed to be due for renewal.

Questions were being asked yesterday about why a man who had worked for the council for three decades would lose his job and whether he had been given proper warning before being suspended.

A spokeswoman for Coffs Harbour City Council said council did not comment on internal staffing matters.

Mr Lavelle said yesterday he could not comment.

The affable public servant we was described yesterday as being highly regarded by colleagues he worked wih in other organisations.

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