Date published 30 August 2019
Last modified 07 September 2021

Operation Front resulted in eight elected officials from Logan City Council being charged with 14 serious criminal offences. Prosecutions of fraud were discontinued by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) on 14 April 2021 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Other charges against the former mayor remain before the court.

Operation Front commenced in November 2017 after evidence relating to Logan City Council was uncovered during Operation Belcarra. At its commencement, the investigation focused on the then Mayor of Logan City Council. However, as the investigation progressed, other allegations relating to the then Mayor and seven other councillors were received by the CCC and they were investigated.

In April 2018, the CCC charged the then suspended Mayor Luke Smith with four criminal offences:

  • Two counts of perjury relating to evidence he gave at Operation Belcarra [2 x perjury contrary to section 123 of the Criminal Code]
  • One count of official corruption [1 x Official Corruption contrary to section 87 of the Criminal Code] and
  • One count of failing to correct his register of interests [1 x Failing to correct his Register of Interests contrary to Section 171B of the Local Government Act 2009]

These matters remain before the courts.

In April 2019, Mr Smith was charged with further criminal offences:

  • Two counts of Misconduct in relation to Public Office contrary to Section 92A of the Criminal Code. The CCC will allege he interfered in a recruitment process with an intent to dishonestly gain a benefit for another person, and secondly, that he commenced a dishonest probation process with an intent to dishonestly cause a detriment to another person. The maximum penalty for each misconduct in public office offence under the Criminal Code is seven years imprisonment.

These matters remain before the courts.  

In April 2019, Mr Smith and seven current serving councillors, were each charged with one count of fraud contrary to Section 408C(1)(e) (2A) of the Criminal Code. The CCC alleged that Mr Smith and the councillors dishonestly caused a detriment, namely the dismissal of employment, to the former CEO. The CCC further alleged the detriment was of a value of at least $100 000.

The seven councillors charged were: 

  • Russell Lutton (Division 2)
  • Stephen Swenson (Division 3)
  • Cherie Dalley (Division 6 and Deputy Mayor)
  • Laurence Smith (Division 7)
  • Philip Pidgeon (Division 9)
  • Trevina Schwarz (Division 11)
  • Jennifer Breene (Division 12)

Discontinued fraud prosecutions – 14 April 2021

NOTE: As a result of evidence heard at the committal hearing, and information contained in submissions from the legal representatives of those charged, on 14 April 2021, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) discontinued the prosecutions in the Brisbane Magistrates Court as a result of forming the view that there were no longer reasonable prospects of securing convictions. More information is available at:

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