WANGARATTA councillor Julian Fidge has been suspended for two months following the findings of an initial councillor conduct panel being revealed this morning.
Cr Fidge will depart council as early as next week and undergo counselling during his imposed break.
But the first term councillor is preparing to fight the suspension at VCAT and is in the process of applying for a stay of the decision so he can continue in the role.
The panel findings will be tabled at the next council meeting on Tuesday.
They relate to complaints made by fellow councillors Tammy Atkins, Don Joyce, former councillor Lisa McInerney and mayor Rozi Parisotto about comments he made to the media.
Cr Fidge issued a press release on the decision this morning.
In part it states: “I am keen to make council honest, open, transparent and consultative.
“I believe in democracy, and have no intention of reducing my communication with residents or the media.”