GENERAL News

COUNCILOR WINS DEFAMATION / VICTIMISATION CLAIM AGAINST COOBER PEDY ADMINISTRATOR TIM JACKSON

Above: Coober Pedy council meetings were once a place of keen community interest and participation.
In 2022 less than a handful of local residents, if allowed, bother to attend meetings

REPORT: By consent and in Orders made this week by Magistrate Davis in chambers, it was agreed that TIMOTHY ROBERT SANDFORD JACKSON had defamed and victimised former Councilor of the District Council of Coober Pedy and resident George Naumovic in a letter that he had written to the Coober Pedy Regional Times.

On the 21st May 2021 Administrator of District Council of Coober Pedy TIM JACKSON wrote a letter to the Editor of the Coober Pedy Regional Times. The comments made were considered defamatory and highly misleading by George Naumovic whom JACKSON had written about.

Naumovic launched legal action against Jackson in July 2021 and on Tuesday 16th August 2022 the Crown solicitors office was instructed to concede to the claim launched by Naumovic.

The South Australian Financial Arm (SAFA) gave the instructions to concede. Both departments have represented JACKSON at some stage.

This action avoided a Trial that was to be held in the Coober Pedy magistrates court on the 24th August 2022.

Therefore by consent and the orders made by Magistrate Davis it was agreed that JACKSON had defamed and victimised George Naumovic resident and former Councillor of the District Council of Coober Pedy

There were other allegations in Naumovic’s Statement of claim against JACKSON namely that he knew Naumovic was to be afforded whistle-blower protection, but instead, JACKSON prosecuted Naumovic.

The fact that Naumovic was to be afforded whistle-blower protection was never disputed by the Crown Solicitors’ office or SAFA.

The prosecution of Naumovic was initiated by JACKSON and the then Acting CEO COLIN PITMAN.

Will the minister for local government Geoff Brock now stand JACKSON down? Coober Pedy residents have been calling for this action for some time.

After Mr. Naumovic pointed out Jackson’s potentially defamatory remarks in his Letter to the Editor, the Coober Pedy Regional Times immediately banned Jackson from submitting any further commentary to the newspaper, until such time as he may be cleared by a court.

The newspaper considered any dialogue, subtle or otherwise coming from Jackson to be a potential risk. This situation remains.

Despite Jackson being forced to concede to a raft of claims including defamation, victimisation, and malice (see Item 13) no apology has been offered at this stage by Administrator Jackson for persecuting a public officer obliged to report potential corruption to ICAC.

Item 13 (of 27) Statement of Claim reads: The Respondent knew that the article he authored was deliberately malicious and reckless and contained statements that he knew were misleading and erroneous when he knew for a fact that the Applicant should have been afforded Whistle-blower protection and should not have been prosecuted. The Respondent knew that Whistle-blower protection applied to the Applicant based on evidence that the Applicant and his wife produced to the Respondent.

Further, there has been no public apology for the blatant squandering of innocent ratepayers’ and taxpayers’ monies, currently estimated at around $700K (in this matter)

The Coober Pedy community deserves an accurate account of Jackson’s legal spending since his appointment. Legal expenses coupled with his use of external committees and Adelaide-based Consultants have left the community with the opinion that even Jackson has no confidence in his own abilities.

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