The code of conduct investigation into councillor Reynold Macpherson has cost Rotorua ratepayers nearly $60,000.
On Friday a Rotorua Lakes Council spokeswoman confirmed the investigation cost the council a total of $59,573.
That was made up of legal fees of $41,341, Audit and Risk Committee meeting fees of $9000 and staff time valued at about $9650.
Staff time had been calculated at $76 per hour - the rate the council used under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act - and was estimated to come to 87.5 hours.
The spokeswoman said the money had come from the council's operational budget.
It concluded in late July, following an independent investigation, which produced a detailed 39-page investigation report on April 24.
The council found Macpherson in breach of the elected members' code of conduct and ordered him to apologise to the five complainants by July 31.
On Monday, Chadwick told the Rotorua Daily Post once the council had received a complaint it was obliged to follow the code of conduct process.
"This issue could have been dealt with faster and at no expense had Councillor Macpherson engaged during the informal part of the process.
"He chose to not do that so we were obliged to refer the matter to the Audit and Risk Committee, which then necessitated a formal investigation and finding."
Council chief executive Geoff Williams said code of conduct breaches, whether by elected members or staff, were a "serious matter and treated as such".
"Once formal complaints are made we have no choice but to follow them through, as per the process that is in place."
On Tuesday Macpherson said it was a "futile and shocking waste of ratepayers' money", in his opinion.
"I did not refuse an informal meeting with the mayor but asked that she wait until I had responded directly to complainants, as required by the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.
"Two days before I completed that task she triggered stage two under the code which precluded an informal meeting and settlement."
He said, in his opinion: "Stage two became a farce when the council's advocate was employed as an 'independent investigator' to interview the complainants and recommend on my guilt and punishment.
In Macpherson's view the report was "ridiculously expensive" and "riddled with bias and predetermination".
"An independent facilitator should have been appointed, as authorised by the Audit and Risk Committee."
He said the process "then became a public relations contest".
He said Chadwick's statements in a council press release "tried to spin blame for the debacle on to the intended victim".
"She then apologised to the complainants, in my view, for not delivering utu.
"In contrast to all the good things the mayor does, this was silly stuff."
He said the code of conduct was a voluntary code based on mutual respect, and in his opinion "the current leadership has repeatedly undermined the code since 2018 by disrespecting three elected members who now call council's mistakes as they see them and refuse to be whipped into line".
"The complaint process was misused as a disciplinary procedure for political purposes."
He said the way forward was to revise the code of conduct in light of the Harmful Digital Communications Act, as was recommended by the Audit and Risk Committee.
"We also need to set aside authoritarianism in favour of cooperative problem-solving that uses the knowledge, skills and experience of all councillors".
In July the Rotorua Daily Post revealed a council-commissioned investigation into predetermination risks from Macpherson's actions had cost $10,031.70, and was likely to rise to $20,000, according to Williams.
In 2017 ratepayers stumped up a $63,487.48 bill for the council to defend Macpherson's ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge against the 2016 local election result.
In 2018 a council report stated Macpherson had cost the council $237,336 over the previous three-and-a-half years, due to official information requests, "responses to media inquiries following Rotorua Residents and Ratepayers press releases, correcting misinformation in letters to the editor, email inquiries, meetings and legal work".
On Tuesday, Macpherson said legal costs were incurred by the council to defend "bad decisions" while he paid his own legal bills to challenge them on behalf of ratepayers.
He said the predetermination risk was "mostly a deception" and could only occur if a member of a minority used a judicial review to challenge a majority decision and ignored a precedent.
He said the total estimated costs of what was, in his opinion, "this vilification campaign" was a fraction of the cost of projects such as Mudtopia, Crankworx, Terax, the Whakarewarewa Forest project and the Lakefront Redevelopment.