MELBOURNE – Controversial Wyndham City Councillor Intaj Khan dubbed the “King of Bling” has been suspended for breaching a code of conduct by being critical of his own council on Facebook.
But Intaj Khan said that his suspension from Wyndham Council for criticising it online was a stitch-up.
“I wish I could have worded my Facebook comment differently,” he said. “But my intention was not to do harm to anybody,” he said, stressing that he did not believe he should have been suspended.
The council appointed an investigator to look at Cr Khan after receiving complaints about social media posts and appearances by Cr Khan in the media in June.
The council has now, on the basis of the findings of its investigator, banned Cr Khan “from any position where he represents council for a period of four weeks”, mayor Henry Barlow said.
Cr Barlow said Cr Khan also “needed to make a public apology for his conduct” at the next council meeting.
Cr Khan was last month charged with nine offences over his alleged failure to properly disclose his property and commercial interests in Melbourne’s west.
The charges, filed by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate, followed a Fairfax Media investigation last year of the Wyndham councillor’s business and property empire and of allegations of Labor branch stacking.
The charges have maximum penalties of about $9000 per offence. The penalties could total up to $80,000 if Cr Khan were found guilty of all offences and maximum penalties were imposed.
Cr Khan said one key charge against him had been dropped; the inspectorate could not be reached on Wednesday night to confirm if it had dropped any charges against the councillor.
Mr Khan said on Wednesday that he was seeking preselection for the seat of Tarneit. If he won, he would replace former Victorian Speaker Telmo Languiller in the prized western suburbs seat.