Mayor says sorry for sexy selfies
AN OUTBACK mayor has been forced to apologise after emailing naked photos of himself from his council computer.
Diamantina Shire mayor Geoff Morton - whose remote council includes Birdsville and Bedourie - said he uploaded the sexy selfies on his work computer from a camera and emailed them to his personal address last year.
But the images were detected by a council staffer, resulting in a complaint to chief executive Leon Love and later the Local Government Department.
Sources who have seen the images said one depicts the married father of two laying naked on a swag in a dry creek bed.
A total of 20 inappropriate emails, including attachments, were found.
It comes as Mr Morton prepares to welcome thousands of revellers for the famous Birdsville Races today.
In March, Cr Morton was ordered by the local government watchdog to apologise, but details of his behaviour were hidden from the public.
News Queensland applied for copies of the mayor's emails last October, but was knocked back by council CEO Mr Love.
The State's Right to Information commissioner - former Local Government Department lawyer Louisa Lynch - also rejected News Queensland's Right to Information request for Cr Morton's emails.
After a 10-month investigation, Cr Morton - who was presented with an Order of Australia Medal in 2016 for his contribution to council and his community - admitted what happened and apologised to his constituents.
"I'm sorry that it happened," he said.
"What the photographs involve is of no concern to anyone I don't think. I've complied with everything that should have been done.
"They were personal images taken for somebody's personal business."
Asked if the images were of him naked, he said: "Yes, I guess they would be."
Cr Morton refused to detail the images, or say who, if anyone, they were intended for.
News Queensland's Right to Information request last November asked for access to all of Cr Morton's emails that contained the words "sex", "Craig's List", or "ad".
Twenty emails deemed to be in breach of council standards were found using those search terms, including his naked images.
Cr Morton said his racy photos were only sent to his personal email address. The Right to Information Commissioner would not confirm or deny this.
In March, the Regional Conduct Review Panel ordered Cr Morton to apologise publicly, as well be counselled by an IT person.
"The counselling should focus on ensuring Councillor Morton knows how to send personal emails from his phone without using the Council server and that he limits his use of the Council's resources to Council business."