Council chief's resignation letter to be kept secret

Details about the resignation of the chief executive of Marion Council, Adelaide, including whether he received a payout, will be kept secret for the rest of his working life following a vote by councillors.

Mark Searle spent almost 15 years as CEO as the City of Marion. But he resigned from his A$275,000 (£139,152) role ahead of a behind-closed-doors council meeting where his employment was to be discussed, the Guardian Messenger reports.  

The newspaper claimed that some councillors had previously asked him to step down but Searle denied any knowledge of the meeting.

He added that he had discussed his plans with mayor Kris Hanna late last year and "felt ready for a change".

Mayor Hanna would only say the past few months have been a "very challenging time for myself, Mark and the council".

Bruce Hull, Marion's longest-serving councillor, said there had been "significant issues" with the working relationship between the new council convened after November elections and chief executive, but would not elaborate further.

Searle said he plans to take a break and "hit the surf" before returning to local government.