Former Adelaide Formula One Grand Prix boss Mal Hemmerling has been sacked as chief executive of a northern Adelaide Council after an independent investigation into allegations of bullying, sexual harassment and mismanagement.
City of Playford deputy mayor Marilyn Baker issued a statement on Friday saying the council had resolved to dismiss Mr Hemmerling.
He had previously been suspended on full pay.
Ms Baker said the seriousness of the allegations, uncovered through the independent investigation, and Mr Hemmerling’s decision not to be interviewed or to respond to the allegations left the council with no alternative.
“Council is determined to provide a safe and secure workplace for all of its employees,” she said.
“It will not tolerate any behaviour that threatens or compromises a safe and secure workplace.”
But Mr Hemmerling’s lawyer Greg Griffin said he had not refused to be interviewed and Ms Baker’s statement was false and defamatory.
“To assert that Mr Hemmerling has not responded to the allegations against him and has declined to meet with the independent investigator is an outrageous slur on the character and conduct of Mr Hemmerling,” Mr Griffin said in a statement.
He said Hemmerling had, quite understandably, raised concerns with the allegations against him which went back as far as 2013.
“The allegations involved communications with numerous persons whose identities were largely unstated,” he said.
Mr Griffin said the council had also been told that Mr Hemmerling remained prepared to participate in the investigation but would do so on the basis that he was afforded natural justice and procedural fairness.
Mr Hemmerling ran the Adelaide Grand Prix for a decade from 1984, was a part owner of the Adelaide 36ers basketball team for about three years and also served as chief executive of the Adelaide City Council.