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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Michael Parris

Council still working on releasing Jeremy Bath investigation report

Jeremy Bath in a council meeting in 2022. Picture by Simone De Peak

Newcastle council says it is continuing to work through legal hurdles to releasing a confidential investigation report into chief executive Jeremy Bath.

Mr Bath was the subject of an independent investigation last year into misleading letters submitted to the Newcastle Herald by his best friend, Scott Neylon, who has lived in Japan for 25 years.

The investigation by Pinnacle Integrity found there was no evidence to substantiate allegations that Mr Bath directly contributed to the letters or revealed confidential information to Mr Neylon.

Pinnacle did not contact the Herald during the investigation.

Mr Bath said in December that he wanted the report released publicly and it was "very frustrating that the report isn't out there so that everyone can read it".

Councillors voted on December 12 to "seek advice" on whether the investigation report could be released under freedom of information laws.

"A further update will be provided in due course," the council's corporate services executive director, David Clarke, said in a media statement on December 22.

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has asked for a copy of the report.

A council spokesperson said on Thursday that City of Newcastle "continues to work through its legal obligations in relation to potential release of the investigation report, having regard to the Code of Conduct, the Procedure for Administration of the Code of Conduct and the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act)".

"CN is consulting with relevant parties, which is a requirement of the GIPA Act when considering the proactive release of documents which contain the information of third parties," the spokesperson said.

"Once the consultation process has concluded, CN will evaluate whether the investigation report is able to be proactively released under the GIPA Act."

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