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Ex-Vic mayor charged with misusing power

AAP logoAAP 5/09/2016 Helen Velissaris

A former mayor in Melbourne's north has being charged with misusing his power by allegedly signing off on a $358,000 salary for the council's chief executive.

During his time as mayor of Darebin City Council during 2014 and 2015 , councillor Steven Tsitas is alleged to have "executed an employment contract without authorisation", according to the Local Government and Compliance Inspectorate.

The measure was to "gain an advantage" for the then-chief executive Rasiah Dev, the charge states.

The inspectorate, the integrity agency for local government in Victoria, began investigating Mr Tsitas's actions in April 2015.

Darebin City Council's acting chief executive Steve Hamilton told AAP in a statement Mr Tsitas won't be stood down pending the legal action.

"There is no provision, in the Local Government Act 1989 or elsewhere, for council to require a councillor to 'stand down' pending the resolution of matters such as these charges," Mr Hamilton said.

"Council is not a party to any charges laid against Cr Tsitas."

The misuse of position carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $93,276 fine.

Mr Tsitas is scheduled to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on November 7.

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