RSL IN CRISIS: Staff gagged in wake of imposter claims
STAFF at the Maryborough RSL have been ordered to not speak about or contact their boss who is on "stress leave" awaiting the outcome of criminal charges.
It comes as members of the Maryborough RSL Sub Branch call for an urgent meeting in the wake of General Manager Craig Lenihan's arrest and amid concerns about the way senior figures have handled both the fallout and his hiring in the first place. Mr Lenihan is charged with two offences under the Defence Act.
His charges are falsely representing to be a returned soldier and improper use of service decorations.
In a letter, sent by Maryborough RSL Sub Branch President George Mellick on November 27 and seen by the Chronicle, staff are told Mr Lenihan is on three month's stress leave and "NOT to be contacted at any point by anyone".
Staff are also instructed that if asked about the situation they are to issue a "stock standard response":
"Craig is currently on leave and Stephen (Yeates) is Acting General Manager at present.
"All I know is what has been reported in the news and nothing further".
The Chronicle has also been given a copy of a letter, signed by 28 members of the Maryborough RSL Sub Branch, calling for a special meeting on December 22 to declare the positions of president and vice-president vacant.
Among the signatories is former president Jukka Manttari and five other former board members Dr Tom Dunn, Shaun Kenny, John Bretz, Peter Daetz, Gary Conyers and Alan Fuary.
Reasons listed for the special meeting include alleged failure to "produce or check credentials of a person appointed to a senior position without reference to the board and divesting control of the board to district officers without reference to the board or valid explanations".
It is also alleged in the letter that Mr Mellick has "failed in his duty and exceeded his authority in presiding over a culture of bullying and intimidation".
The Chronicle understands the letter was delivered to the Maryborough RSL on Wednesday and members have requested that public notice of the meeting be given by Saturday, December 7.
The Maryborough RSL and Mr Mellick were contacted for a response and declined to comment.
Mr Lenihan will appear in Maryborough Magistrates Court on December 17.