“We had full disclosure and we made our assessment on that full disclosure,” Mayor Steve Kons said on Wednesday.
Former Victoria Police chief commissioner Mr Overland:
- told the Royal Commission into Police Informants he had not kept diaries or day books during his time as Victoria Police assistant commissioner, including in regard to police informant Nicola Gobbo. The commission was later told police had found three of his diaries;
- conceded to the commission police could have acted illegally in their use of lawyer and informant Ms Gobbo (Lawyer X);
- resigned as chief commissioner of Victoria Police in 2011 after an ombudsman’s report said he took responsibility for signing off on inaccurate crime statistics in the lead-up to a state election, although senior officers had not warned him the figures were not complete;
- was criticised over police computer system failures which allowed people on parole to kill six people; and
- was sacked as chief executive of the Whittlesea City Council – becoming the third person fired from the position in four years – in 2019. The state government later sacked the council.
Cr Kons said eight of the nine councillors voted to appoint Mr Overland, and one opposed the choice.
Asked about the various controversies, Cr Kons said the councillors knew of the royal commission and Mr Overland’s previous council role.
He said the diaries were not raised in the interview, but the matter was “common knowledge”.
“Everyone had the opportunity to ask questions in the interviews,” Cr Kons said.
A process involving a recruiting firm produced 35 candidates, of whom more than two thirds were from Tasmania.
Cr Kons said a panel of councillors – himself, Ken Dorsey, Chris Lynch and David Pease – worked with the recruiting agency to produce a shortlist of six candidates.
Four of those were interviewed.
Cr Kons said Mr Overland – also a former secretary of Tasmania’s Justice Department – had experience much broader than local government.
“We looked at capacity, capability, qualifications and the ability to move us forward and to run a large organisation,” Cr Kons said.
“He ran larger organisations than ours in the past and that gave us a level of comfort this general manager can drive us forward.
“Having a new general manager with fresh eyes will drive our abilities to the next level, rather than taking it easy.”
On Facebook, Cr Dorsey said the applicants were of high calibre.
“In my opinion, Mr Overland stood out,” Cr Dorsey wrote.
Mr Overland, who was credited with stopping Melbourne’s deadly gangland wars, was appointed to the council role for five years.
He will start with the council in November.