A Wagga councillor could be sanctioned or potentially suspended after failing to declare a significant conflict of interest before voting on a controversial local development last month.
Councillor Rod Kendall has been placed under review by Wagga City Council and reported to the Office of Local Government after he failed to declare his working relationship with the applicant behind a proposal for a church meeting hall in Lake Albert.
Carl Napier, a trustee for the Plymouth Brethren Church, works for Adaptive Interiors, which has previously employed Cr Kendall as a structural engineer.
Cr Kendall last week said he overlooked the name of the applicant and that the breach was simply a mistake.
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Mr Napier has told The Daily Advertiser he discussed the development directly with Cr Kendall and that the councillor was definitely aware he was the applicant.
"There was one discussion early on," he said. "We discussed technical details ... and bounced ideas off him."
Cr Kendall declined to comment when contacted by The Daily Advertiser.
Wagga City Council general manager Peter Thompson said the non-disclosure was a breach of the code of conduct and was referred to the Office of Local Government last week.
Mr Thompson said the case is also being reviewed directly by the council to determine the exact type of conflict of interest.
This determination will influence whether the matter is handed to the Office of Local Government, which has the capacity to inflict a range of penalties, including suspension or disqualification from civic office.
If the matter is handled by Wagga City Council, the highest punishment which could be doled out would be a sanction.
Mr Napier said Cr Kendall had nothing to gain financially by supporting the development.
"There was nothing in it for him," he said. "There was no money involved, no awarding of contracts, no quote to do the work."
Mr Thompson admitted he was surprised Cr Kendall, who has served on Wagga City Council since 2004, failed to report the conflict.
"The name of the applicant is the first thing you read when you read the business papers," he said.
"That was unusual in my view that it was missed and we're dealing with it appropriately."
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