Lewd comments, horseplay earn councillor $4,000 fine

A former Queensland councillor who dressed up as a horse’s backside and attempted to bite and lick a contestant on the reality show The Bachelorette has been ordered to pay a $4,000 penalty.

Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian

Queensland’s Councillor Conduct Tribunal found the behaviour of former Noosa Shire councillor Jess Glasgow on the show and in subsequent media interviews was so unacceptable it would have warranted his dismissal or suspension had he still been in office.

The Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) said Mr Glasgow took part in the filming of two episodes of the Bachelorette while he was on leave in June 2019.

In the first episode, which aired in October of that year, Mr Glasgow appeared carrying a throne, wearing a crown and dressed in fake mayoral robes and told Bachelorette Angie Kent  “I’m a local councillor, so the one below the Mayor”.

The following night he was seen dressed up as a horse’s rear end and was filmed making lewd gestures and sexualised comments, including “Don’t mind me if I get some wandering fingers” and “Damn, I’m gonna be the first person she gets to ride”.

Mr Glasgow also said of Ms Kent: “I would’ve just grabbed that sweetie and laid one on her” and “I’ve kissed plenty of girls who’ve turned their heads before”, and attempted to bite and lick her, Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian said.

When another contestant told Mr Glasgow Ms Kent wanted o talk to him about his behaviour he said “Cool, bring it on bitch”.

Mr Glasglow later falsely said in a media interview that he had the Mayor’s approval to be on the show.

The OIAC said it had received 128 complaints from the public about Mr Glasgow’s antics.

Offensive and disrespectful behaviour

In its decision handed down last month the CCT said it was not suggesting that councillors can’t appear on the Bachelorette or any other reality show.

“Councillors are, by the nature of their elected capacities, required to be in the ‘public eye’ and this may make them more relatable to their electors,” the tribunal says in its decision.

However, it found Mr Glasgow’s comments about women were offensive, his behaviour was disrespectful and that his misleading statements to the media reflected poorly on the office of councillor.

“The Councillor’s words, gestures and actions are unacceptable,” the CCT said.

“That they were made by an elected Councillor, who identified himself as such, on a television show with national and international exposure is to be condemned.

“The Councillor’s failures to adequately stand up to the consequences of his actions also reflect poorly on him and strike at the heart of the integrity of the office of Councillor.”

Mr Glasgow was kicked out of the Bachelorette by Ms Kent and was not re-elected at the 2020 local government elections.

The tribunal ordered him to pay Noosa Shire Council $4,000 in penalty units and reimburse Council an additional $1,000 for costs arising from his misconduct.

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