LOGAN mayor Luke Smith has announced he will return to work tomorrow.
The mayor has been on paid leave which was expected to end on April 23.
Councillors learned of the mayor’s return to work at a council meeting today which occurred at the same time as Cr Smith faced Beenleigh Court on two counts of perjury and one each of official corruption and failing to change a business register.
The case was adjourned until June 7.
Logan business leaders, residents and five councillors want the mayor to stand aside while he fights the charges.
Cr Smith messaged councillors and department heads and posted to his Facebook page: “Thank you again to all those who continue to support me during this time – I am looking forward to returning to work tomorrow and getting on with the job of making the great City of Logan even greater.”
In a statement Cr Smith said today was the first step in a lengthy court process.
“I am not naïve in understanding the incredibly complex situation presented but I want to reaffirm my position that I will be vigorously defending the charges,” he said.
“As an elected official in public office I understand my integrity is paramount and I acknowledge there are some people calling on me to stand down.”
Cr Smith said he understood that some people thought he should stand down but with the support of family, staff and friends he would continue.
“Although this matter has now come to court and I need to respect the process, the investigation has been underway for some time and I have still continued to lead the city and stay focused on the community –Logan has continued prosper,” he said.
“I want to assure the Logan community that this council is in a strong position and with the support around me to manage the situation, my attention can be and will be firmly focused on this city.
“While people are entitled to their opinion, I strongly believe in the presumption of innocence and with that, I will not be standing down as mayor. I will be returning to work tomorrow.
“I do ask that consideration be given to the legal process while it takes its course and that respect and privacy is given to my family during this time.”
Cr Smith said he was humbled by the community support he had received.
“I understand the public and media interest in this matter, but unfortunately while the legal process is underway, I simply cannot discuss the details of my defence any further other than to reiterate that I will be vigorously defending the charges,” he said.