Published 28 August 2020

Statement issued 28 August 2020

There have been multiple media articles in relation to Mayor Knight including a number in which he has referred to various complaints raised against him. The Council advises the community that:

Pursuant to Section 56 of Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (SA) the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption the Hon Bruce Lander has authorised the Council to publish that the Council is currently undertaking, on referral from the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, a number of investigations relating to Mayor Knight that have arisen as a result of reports made to the Office for Public Integrity.

No further comment will be made as investigations are ongoing.

Statement issued 30 June 2020 - Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld

Councillors call for Mayor Knight to resign

Tea Tree Gully Council has asked Kevin Knight to resign as Mayor.

The decision comes after a motion was unanimously endorsed at last night’s Council meeting, stating Mayor Knight demonstrated “poor leadership in providing confidential, offensive and defamatory commentary to the media, particularly about Council employees and Elected Members”.

The motion followed a media article late last week, where Mayor Knight was reported to have lodged complaints against the Council’s CEO John Moyle and two other senior staff.

The media article also included comments attributed to the Mayor about an incident involving him and a Council employee on 2 October 2019. On 24 March 2020, following an independent investigation, Council determined Mayor Knight breached three clauses of the Code of Conduct* for Council Members in relation to this incident. Council formally endorsed the following last night:

  • A vote of no confidence in Mayor Knight
  • A request for Mayor Knight make a public apology within five business days
  • The removal of various mayoral benefits, including access to the mayoral office.

Councillors also decided that a complaint lodged by Mayor Knight against the Council’s CEO John Moyle would not be progressed further due to a lack of substance. Mr Moyle will receive a written apology from the Council, which had sought independent legal advice on the matter.

Council’s official spokesperson, Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld said following last night’s meeting:

“It’s disappointing that Mayor Knight has continued to draw unfavourable attention to himself. Many months ago he said that he would stay only as long as Elected Members wanted him to do so.

“I think this Council decision sends a clear message on this. We are certainly grateful for his service to the community over a number of years and appreciate his achievements, but it’s time for him to resign.”

“Rather than dealing with Mayor Knight’s behaviour, our focus needs to be on restoring the trust of our community as they clearly deserve better.”

Local government in South Australia does not have the authority to dismiss an elected member.

See the agenda and minutes for more information

*Link to clauses above

2.2 Act in way that generates community trust and confidence in the Council

*2.3.Act in a reasonable, just, respectful and non-discriminatory way when dealing with people

*2.11 Not bully or harass Council staff 

Statement issued 25 March 2020 - Acting Mayor Damian Wyld

Tea Tree Gully Council last night determined that Mayor Knight’s conduct on 2 October 2019 breached clauses 2.2, 2.3, and 2.11 of the Code of Conduct for Council Members*.

This is in relation to an incident involving the Mayor and a Council employee and follows an independent investigation by Norman Waterhouse Lawyers.

Mayor Knight was given the opportunity to provide a written response to Council’s preliminary findings on the matter.

Council felt the Mayor’s response showed a lack of leadership and a disrespect for others by raising unsubstantiated matters with no relevance to the investigator’s findings.

It’s disappointing that Mayor Knight has chosen this path, especially at a critical time when our focus is firmly on supporting the community during the COVID-19 public health emergency and maintaining essential services and business-critical functions.

This community and our staff deserve better. We have drawn a line in the sand and have no tolerance for this type of behaviour.  

As a result of Mayor Knight’s disappointing response and Council findings, Council:

  • Requests Mayor Knight to publicly apologise within five business days for raising irrelevant, unsubstantiated matters
  • Requests Mayor Knight prepare a written apology to the employee
  • Formally censures Mayor Knight arising from the findings of this investigation
  • Requests Mayor Knight attend sexual harassment in the workplace training
  • Reaffirms a request that Mayor Knight remain on leave of absence from all official functions and duties  
  • Appoints the Deputy Mayor as Council’s voting delegate for the South Australian Local Government Association (LGA) Ordinary and Annual General Meetings and meetings of the Australian Local Government Association
  • Withdraw Council’s support of Mayor Knight’s nomination on the LGA Board, Greater Adelaide Region of Councils (GAROC) Board, and Local Government Research and Development Scheme Advisory Committee.

*2.2 Act in way that generates community trust and confidence in the Council

*2.3.Act in a reasonable, just, respectful and non-discriminatory way when dealing with people

*2.11 Not bully or harass Council staff

See the agenda for more information
Meeting minutes will be posted when available

See statement issued 11 March 2020 

Statement issued 5 March 2020 - Acting Mayor Damian Wyld

The current allegations regarding breaches of the Code of Conduct for Council Members involving Mayor Kevin Knight on 2 October 2019 are serious.

At the Council meeting of 10 March 2020, the final independent report and findings will be considered.

The Mayor will have an opportunity to provide a formal response to Council’s findings at the following Council meeting.

As a Council, we set high expectations of acceptable behaviour for our elected members and employees, which must, as a minimum meet reasonable community expectations.

A Council spokesperson said: 

“It is anticipated that Council will consider this matter at its meeting on 10 March 2020. It is important there are no further comments from all parties concerned until the matter is considered.” 

See the agenda for more information

Council’s Process for handling code of conduct complaints against Council Members

Statement issued 5 March 2020 - Acting Mayor Damian Wyld

Tea Tree Gully Mayor Kevin Knight today clarified the extent of his leave of absence in writing.

In Mayor Knight’s absence, Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld will assume the role of Acting Mayor until further notice.

Acting Mayor Damian Wyld said it was important that the community, Elected Members and Council staff are reassured that mayoral roles and duties would be fulfilled.

Mayor Knight’s written response will be tabled at the next general council meeting on Tuesday 10 March 2020. 

Statement issued 28 February 2020 - Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld

Tea Tree Gully Mayor Kevin Knight today requested a leave of absence from Council and committee meetings. 

The request is for an undetermined period from 2 March this year. 

If the request is granted, Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld would preside over Council meetings.

Deputy Mayor Wyld said that the Council would continue to focus on delivering key community projects and services. 

Mayor Knight’s leave of absence request will be considered at the Council’s next meeting, along with any implications this has for Council. 

Statement issued 26 February 2020 - Deputy Mayor Damian Wyld

City of Tea Tree Gully Mayor Kevin Knight has been requested to take leave of absence from official functions and duties for an undetermined period, following a decision last night by Tea Tree Gully Council.

Deputy Mayor, Cr Damian Wyld, has been appointed as Council’s principal spokesperson and will also take on a number of other duties normally carried out by the mayor.

 “Council remains committed to delivering positive outcomes for our community. These changes allow the business of Council to continue while we await the completion of a process,” said Cr Wyld.

Cr Lucas Jones will be the acting principal spokesperson in the absence of the Deputy Mayor. 

Due to privacy, no further information is available beyond the official minutes of the meeting.