During his June 2019 trial the former mayor told the court he had acted on the advice of two Ipswich chief executive officers that councillors would buy auction items at charity events and record the spending as donations on council records.

The trial heard Mr Antoniolli never believed he had acted dishonestly and had acted within guidelines set by the two chief executives.

On Friday Judge Lynch said the magistrate should not have ignored Mr Antoniolli’s evidence he acted on the advice of the Ipswich City Council chief executive.

“The learned magistrate found [Mr Antoniolli] admitted knowing the donation policy was flawed for lack of transparency and accountability and relied on this as one of the reasons for his conclusion the appellant exhibited dishonest intent,” he said.

“At no time did [Mr Antoniolli] acknowledge that at the time he bid at charity auctions or supported payments from the [Community Donation Fund] he believed he was doing anything wrong,” the ABC reported.

Mr Antoniolli began his appeal in April 2020.

At those appeal hearings Ipswich District Court was told by Mr Antoniolli’s defence team that many of the items bought by Mr Antoniolli were not used or, like one red pushbike, left in a garage shed.

The prosecution said the behaviour was “a deliberate course of conduct” to circumvent the ability of council to properly account for the funds being dispersed.

Mr Antoniolli could not immediately be contacted for comment.



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