Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hobart Lord Mayor hit with assault charge

Hobart Lord Mayor, Anna Reynolds, has been charged with the summary offence of common assault following an alleged incident at a public meeting in May last year.

Fellow councillor, Louise Elliot, alleges the Lord Mayor grabbed her arm during the meeting about the University of Tasmania’s move into the Hobart CBD. Cr Elliot was not a councillor at the time of the alleged incident.

The Lord Mayor, however, has strenuously denied the allegations and in a public apology to Cr Elliott last year, stated that she had instead “reached out from my seat and touched your arm to get your attention as you walked past me”.

“Having got your attention you stopped and leaned to hear what I was saying, as I was speaking with a face mask on. We spoke very briefly. I did not physically detain you.”

Louise Elliot speaking at the meeting last year. The Lord Mayor is pictured in front row, wearing black jacket with white-edge lapels.

Lord Mayor Reynolds will stay on in the city’s top job while the matter is before the courts. She is due to face Hobart Magistrates Court in May.

“I continue to deny any unlawful conduct and will vigorously defend the allegation,” she said in a statement on social media.

“I have not been charged with a crime but with a summary offence, which means I remain eligible under the Local Government Act 1993 to remain on the Council and as Lord Mayor.

“I am committed to working on our ambitious Council agenda and will continue to be a proactive advocate for the interests of the Hobart community.

“While the complaint relates to an alleged incident before Councillor Elliot was elected to Council, I am committed to working with Councillor Elliot respectfully and productively in the best interests of the community.”

Public comments on the Lord Mayor’s social media post have been disabled.

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