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Council staff, responding to an official information request from the Otago Daily Times, declined to release information about any staff complaints filed against Cr Vandervis.
To do so would breach Cr Vandervis' privacy, as well as that of staff who complained, the response said.
The council also declined to say whether details of any complaints had been released to Cr Vandervis, again citing his right to privacy.
Instead, the council noted only that two complaints relating to well-publicised incidents involving Cr Vandervis and female staff had led to a Code of Conduct hearing in 2015.
The outcome led to Cr Vandervis being censured and stripped of voting rights for two months.
Cr Vandervis again ignored requests for comment, including on whether he would waive his privacy and release details of any complaints.
The ODT has referred the council's decision to the Office of the Ombudsman.
In one, Mr Cull accused Cr Vandervis of "harassment, tantamount to abuse and bullying" after repeated questioning of council chief executive Sue Bidrose in emails about the stalled report.
Contacted later, Mr Cull went further, telling the ODT he was also privy to reports by "numerous" female council employees who had been left distressed either as a result of an encounter with Cr Vandervis or in anticipation of one.
The allegations related both to emails sent by Cr Vandervis and some of his face-to-face interactions with staff.
Cr Vandervis has ignored ODT requests for comment on the allegations in recent weeks.
Instead, he has released copies of more than 40 email exchanges with council staff and elected members, including Mr Cull.
The emails document his repeated demands for answers on a variety of issues, including the unitary council investigation.
They do not contain swearing, but neither do they address allegations of face-to-face verbal abuse. Instead, the emails show Cr Vandervis questioning the integrity of council staff.
That included accusing Dr Bidrose of "failing to execute her responsibility" to deliver the unitary council report, going beyond her authority in deprioritising the work, "stonewalling" requests for information and using "weasel words" to justify her actions.
The allegations were vehemently denied by Dr Bidrose, as well as other staff involved in the exchanges and Mr Cull, who said they were "plainly wrong".
Cr Vandervis later took aim at a female staff member, emailing to suggest her "ignorance" of standing orders - together with that of Mr Cull - had allowed a closure motion to be improperly used to stymie debate on the unitary council investigation.
That was "disturbing, given your positions", Cr Vandervis told her, before signing off with: "Looking forward to your apology by return for not knowing and subsequently misrepresenting this Standing Order."
He later suggested "mayoral pressure" might have contributed to the staff member's mistake, but also that Dr Bidrose "must also bear the responsibility for blocking the [report]".
Dr Bidrose accepted mistakes had been made but rejected any suggestion of mayoral pressure or blocking, saying those were a "serious allegation of wrongdoing".
And, when Cr Vandervis suggested Dr Bidrose's "actions and inactions" had led to "so many unanswered questions and so much dysfunction", Dr Bidrose fired back with a heated response.
"I suggest you would do well to examine your pivotal role in the dysfunction. I have not abused people, implied they are deliberately misrepresenting the truth, made good people cry.
"It isn't your tone that is the issue. It is your attacks on people's integrity, their professional ethics, their competence. This amounts to bullying according to most reasonable definitions and a majority of your colleagues."
The ODT first requested details of complaints against Cr Vandervis on May 2, but the council extended the 20-working-day deadline for a response, giving it until June 28.
The response, finally released on Thursday, declined to release details, but instead outlined steps taken to keep staff safe in future.
That included a new email quarantine policy and a requirement for general managers to sit alongside more junior staff when they addressed council and committee meetings.
Councillors were now also only able to question executive and group managers, and governance support staff, and staff below management level no longer had to add their names to reports.
A new confidential database had also been established, making it easier for staff to report abuse.