A former Warrnambool City Council senior officer has deeply apologised for causing embarrassment to councillors and staff after misusing a credit card.
Tourism manager David McMahon resigned mid last year after a credit card furore which led to widespread accusations of credit card misuse at the council.
That led to internal and external reviews and at 9.30am Friday an Ombudsman's report was tabled in State Parliament.
That report states that only Mr McMahon's actions were in question.
He repaid money to the council but on legal advice has declined to comment further.
The total repaid was about $8000 but questionable transactions could be as low as $2100.
Mr McMahon said he sincerely regretted the impact of his actions on the hard working and dedicated Warrnambool City Council staff and councillors.
"Especially those close colleagues in the city growth division and the executive management team," he said.
"They did not deserve this media attention or to have their reputations and conduct questioned in any way because of me.
"My family and close friends have dealt with many months of the shame and embarrassment that I caused."
Mr McMahon said he had suffered a significant financial impact as a result of losing his job.
"As well as a heavy hit to my reputation and future career prospects," he said.
"I have paid a very heavy toll and one that will take several years to move past.
"I loved the role and being part of WCC.
"It was the best job I've ever had and I worked hard to make it successful."
The former tourism manager said he faced many challenges in his role, not the least cultural issues, that made it difficult.
He admitted he was also struggling shortly after arriving in Warrnambool in many areas of his private life which contributed to some questionable decisions.
"This is by no means an excuse but context," he said.
"I fully accept that I didn't live up to the expectations of WCC, in particular my director Andrew Paton and former CEOs Brue Anson and Peter Schneider.
"Andrew Paton is the most hard working and professional leader I have ever known.
"I compromised the high standards of integrity and accountability that he demands of not only his staff but himself in the service of the Warrnambool community.
"I will forever regret letting Andrew Paton down."
Mr McMahon thanked the many staff that had contacted him throughout the past 18 months in support.
"I do not deserve such kindness," he said.
"I let down the tourism department staff I had the privilege to lead - that of Surfside, the Visitor Information Centre, Events and Promotions, Destination Marketing and Flagstaff Hill.
"They all work tirelessly 24/7 especially over peak season - often in difficult and challenging circumstances.
"I resigned, in most part, not for my sake but for the organisation and the staff I knew my decisions had so badly impacted.
"I have genuinely attempted to repay not just for my use, but the many transactions that included other staff's consumption, or stakeholders', or anything that could be seen as over the top or in any question."
The former council officer said his aim in resigning was to remove any doubt about his actions for the council and the community.
"I know I have paid many times over what was required, but did this to show my genuine remorse and ensure the community felt this matter was completely resolved," he said.
"It is shameful and embarrassing this matter to be still impacting and causing so much damage to the council staff and councillors - especially during the election and at a time when there are so many staff and community members are struggling.
"I wish the Warrnambool community, council staff and councillors nothing but the best for the future.
"I am truly sorry."
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