Logan mayor pleads guilty to corruption charges, may leave Queensland
A former Queensland mayor has gone from a "rooster to a feather duster" after being charged by the state's corruption watchdog, a court has heard.
Luke Smith, 53, may leave the state to move on from misconduct offences, his barrister Jeffrey Hunter said.
The former Logan City Council mayor, whose full name is Timothy Luke Smith, was charged five years ago, following a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) probe.
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He will be sentenced by Judge David Kent in Brisbane District Court on Friday.
Smith has pleaded guilty to receipt of a secret commission, failing to update his register of interests and misconduct in public office.
All of the offences occurred while he was Logan mayor.
His barrister has detailed how Smith's life had changed since the CCC charges.
Smith is "teetering on the brink of bankruptcy" after his family home was sold and his marriage failed.
He has had stints as a car detailer and security officer.
Smith – who has dealt with alcohol and mental health problems – currently lives at his brother's house.
"The fact that he held that high office, he's really gone from, I'll use the expression, rooster to a feather duster," Hunter said at Thursday's sentencing hearing.
"This has been personally catastrophic for him."
Hunter said he had noticed a marked shift in Smith with the long-running legal matter now approaching an end, but noted that moving on may involve his client leaving the state.
Regarding the secret commission charge, crown prosecutor Mark Green said Smith "acted corruptly" when he received a luxury 7.5m boat from a political donor in 2016.
The donor was a director of SKL Cables, which had submitted a development application to Logan Council for a 15-storey building at Springwood.
The council's building height restriction is 10 storeys.
It is alleged Smith obtained the $95,000 boat to progress the development approval for the building.
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On Thursday, the court heard Smith had regularly met with SKL Cables directors discussing the development, telling one he "had the (council) votes for something that would assist the application".
In August 2016, Smith asked an SKL director whether he could buy a colleague's powerboat and was told he could "use it" but not purchase it.
The same month the boat was transferred over to Smith, who also paid insurance, repairs and storage for the vessel.
Smith later sold the boat for $39,000, spending $19,000 with the rest kept in his account.
"The defendant did not pay a purchase price for the boat at any stage before the boat was sold," Green said.
Smith never declared the boat on his register of interests as required.
After giving evidence at a June 2017 CCC hearing into councillor misconduct allegations, Smith rang an SKL Cables director and told them he could no longer be involved in "all this", Green said.
The misconduct charge relates to allegations Smith interfered in the recruitment of Logan Council director Jane Frawley between June and July 2017.
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