Former mayor, now Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Gary Bagnall.
Former mayor, now Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Gary Bagnall. John Gass /TWE190712vote

Police investigate post-mayoral election barney

POLICE have confirmed they are investigating a complaint made by a Tweed Shire councillor against a colleague, following an altercation after the mayoral election on Thursday night.

Cr Carolyn Byrne has told the Tweed Daily News that she was interviewed by police at her Kingscliff home on Thursday night after making a complaint against former mayor, now deputy mayor, Gary Bagnall.

She declined to make further comment as she said the matter was now with the police.

Tweed-Byron Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Bobbie Cullen said a statement had been taken from Cr Byrne and investigations were ongoing.

Cr Bagnall told the Tweed Daily News on Friday that it was just a verbal altercation and the conservative councillors had "sour grapes" over their loss of both the mayoralty and deputy mayoralty at the meeting.

He denied speaking "harshly" with an "aggressive manner" to Cr Byrne.

But he admitted that he would apologise to Cr Byrne for calling her a "cow" after she asked if he had signed paperwork in relation to the Terranora Tennis Club, to which the councillors recently had resolved to give a $100,000 10-year interest-free loan.

"I had completed all my tasks, I did a good job while I was mayor," Cr Bagnall said.

"I did call her a cow. Which I'm probably (going to) be apologising to the camp for calling her that ... it was a slip of the tongue if I did," Cr Bagnall said.

Cr Bagnall said afterwards he briefly left the chamber to go to his car and returned to find "Carolyn Byrne was bad-mouthing me...".

"As I was walking towards Carolyn, she said 'You owe me (an) apology', so I leaned over to her and I said 'I'm sorry', and I just kept walking out.

"(Cr) Warren (Polglase) has written a letter saying that I walked towards her in an aggressive manner and I spoke to her harshly or something - like no one even could see my face ... and I wasn't walking towards her I was walking back out.

"So she's just making things up.

"The three of them have gotten together because they're sore losers and they're just going to even out the council."

Cr Warren Polglase said his letter to the council called for Cr Bagnall's resignation.

"I think he should resign ASAP. That behaviour cannot be tolerated in the local government or the community."

He has called on the new mayor Cr Katie Milne to sack Cr Bagnall.

He said he could not comment on whether he was a witness to the alleged incident, but "there was quite a lot of people in the chamber and it would be investigated".

A council representative declined to comment because "it is currently under investigation by police".

Cr Milne was approached for comment and did not respond.



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