Revealed: CCC complaint against councillor
BRISBANE LNP councillor Kate Richards is accused of asking a developer to circumvent an incoming donation ban by having someone else buy his ticket to her $750-a-seat fundraiser.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the allegation is detailed in the developer's statement to the Crime and Corruption Commission, which is investigating allegations against the Pullenvale ward councillor.
It follows Cr Richards' own Liberal National Party passing multiple complaints to the CCC.
In the statement, the developer and local LNP branch member, who has asked not to be identified, alleged Cr Richards pressured him to buy a ticket to her May 2018 fundraiser despite being a prohibited donor.
The developer told the CCC he was emailed an invitation to the "Keeping Kate" dinner in the weeks leading up to new legislation being passed by Parliament to ban developer donations.
An LNP donation form was attached to the email, documents seen by The Courier-Mail show.
While the laws would not come into force until October 2018, the developer donation ban was made retrospective from the legislation's introduction into the House in October 2017.
The LNP had cautioned campaign workers to stop accepting donations from that time.
Under the laws, politicians would have 30 days to return any developer donations received from October 2017 up until the laws came into force a year later or face jail time.
The developer told the CCC that despite being well aware of his status as a prohibited donor, Cr Richards contacted him multiple times asking him to buy a ticket.
He said she later told him he could attend for free and bring three guests as a show of support.
"There were several people at the event who I knew to be prohibited donors," he said in his statement.
He said Cr Richards later continued "pressing" him for the money, and suggested "there were plenty of ways around the legislation".
"She suggested to me that I should get someone else to pay for the ticket, so that it would not appear that the money had come from me," the developer said.
"When I told her that I would not do that she then pressed upon me that I should pay in cash."
The developer said that when he refused, Cr Richards suggested he get someone to make an anonymous donation, which he also rejected.
Cr Richards did not respond to a request for comment, but has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Her lawyer Terry O'Gorman also declined to comment on the allegation, saying the LNP had refused to provide copies of the complaints and was using the complaint mechanism to the CCC for blatant political purposes.
Cr Richards has previously blamed a factional dispute.
An LNP spokesman said yesterday: "Deciding whether or not a criminal offence has occurred is entirely a matter for the CCC, and the party has no intention of commenting on the CCC's investigation.
"However determining who is a fit and proper person to be a candidate is entirely a matter for the LNP, and we stand by our vetting procedures, the strongest in the country."
Cr Richards was knocked out of the LNP preselection race for Pullenvale ward during vetting and the party has chosen businessman Greg Adermann as its 2020 candidate for the safe seat.