A third Bega Valley Shire councillor has now stepped forward to publicly state they were not the source of a leak of confidential information.
It comes following our coverage this week of a leak to a member of the public of confidential information relating to two code of conduct matters involving three councillors, and the costs of investigating the matters by independent reviewers.
BVSC general manager Leanne Barnes said she had "determined to undertake a confidential investigation" surrounding the leak.
Regular speaker at council meetings, David Jesson, gave deputations on the costs relating to the code of conduct matter at the March 13, April 10 and again at the meeting May 8, which he said were approaching $30,000 for the two code of conduct matters.
At the April meeting Mr Jesson asked why the code of conduct matter was being considered again.
"What is the additional cost. How did council get the process so wrong. What are the rights of the three councillors involved," Mr Jesson said and called on council to release the details.
Following his deputation the mayor Kristy McBain said that he had made "a number of assumptions on costs and why the code of conduct matter had taken place" adding that much of that information was not in the public domain.
Cr McBain then asked Mr Jesson who had provided the information, to which he replied it was not council staff.
The comments have left some councillors annoyed, believing that their integrity has been questioned.
Crs Tony Allen and Sharon Tapscott both stated that they had not provided confidential information to Mr Jesson.
Cr Allen said there was an innuendo the information had come from a councillor.
"I would not allow my name to be smeared. Your integrity as a councillor is paramount. You deal with confidential information and you should honour that protocol," Cr Allen said. "I didn't want my name associated with it and be guilty by association," Cr Allen added.
Cr Tapscott said it was about her integrity being questioned. "It's a declaration to the public. It's about my reputation," Cr Tapscott said.
At yesterday's meeting they were joined by Cr Robyn Bain.
"It was not me, I have not declared any confidential information," Cr Bain said.
Mr Jesson maintains he has not impugned any councillor's character but "alerted council to a leak somewhere in the organisation".
He told the Bega District News that he received his information "from multiple sources" but reiterated that he didn't get it from staff.
However later he appeared to throw a shadow over staff integrity.
"A staff member didn't tell me but a staff member could have approached someone and communicated to them and they told me," he said.
"My information is from one of those sources. It was given indirectly to me. Somebody in the organisation has divulged confidential information,' he said.
But Mr Jesson maintains that the question of who breached the confidentiality rules was "the more trivial matter" and of greater importance was the money being spent on code of conduct matters.
"These two routine code of conduct matters have cost ratepayers an amount approaching $30,000. The matters have gone nowhere, there have been no sanctions and no actions that have been made public," Mr Jesson said.
But he said that he didn't know the detail of the code of conduct matters.
"Council is making errors of process and seems to be conflicted. Don't do it, be careful, I lived through this," he said in a reference to the process where council was put into administration previously.
"I will not accept any councillor saying I have impugned their character. I do it because I care," he added.
"I am the good guy; I am trying to prevent council riding the slippery slope."