The chief executive of a West Australian shire acted corruptly when he ensured his partner became the strategic planning manager and increased her salary by $24,000 over four years, a report has revealed.
The Corruption and Crime Commission said in its report released on Thursday that Shire of Halls Creek chief executive Rodger Kerr-Newell allowed his partner to draft the position description.
Bronwyn Little was then the only candidate interviewed, and was appointed before the application period closed.
The CCC also found Mr Kerr-Newell failed to accurately disclose the true nature of their relationship or his conflict of interest.
"Mr Kerr-Newell placed his personal interests ahead of everyone else," the CCC said.
"He wanted Ms Little in Halls Creek and every step in her appointment was orchestrated by him to get her there.
"It was the very embodiment of corruption."
Mr Kerr-Newell also took leave he was not entitled to, claiming time-in-lieu amounting to 100 days of leave per year, or about $78,000 of ratepayers' money.
Taking the leave facilitated his job as director and then chairman of a New Zealand wind farm company.
While he did obtain permission from the shire president to become a director, he failed to disclose his financial interest, the time he would spend on the role, or his appointment as chairman.
Overall, the CCC said he showed a disregard for the rules and took short cuts to benefit himself.
"Conflicts of interest permeated every aspect of his decision-making."
The CCC spent two years investigating Mr Kerr-Newell.
He was fired in April and the council is seeking to recover money he misused.