Birmingham City Council chief executive Lin Homer operated "lax" procedures at an election count and was indifferent to complaints about the way she carried out her duties, a court heard yesterday.
The allegations, contained in a written statement by deputy council leader John Hemming, were outlined in the Aston vote-rigging fraud trial.
However, a judge refused to allow Coun Hemming's statement to go before the court in full after counsel for Ms Homer described the claims as "scurrilous and prejudicial".
Sections were removed from the document following discussions with the legal team representing Ms Homer.
Philip Coppel said Coun Hemming's account of the conduct of Ms Homer, who is the returning officer, were without foundation and damaging to her reputation.
Mr Coppel said: "There are allegations made against the returning officer in relation to generally lax procedures on the part of the returning officer.
"A statement in paragraph two suggests that the returning officer was generally indifferent to these matters.
"It is prejudicial to the returning officer. It goes on the public record, people read it and matters like this are extremely uncomfortable to the performance of her office."
Comments about the returning officer and West Midlands Police were removed from Coun Hemming's statement, on the orders of Deputy High Court judge Richard Mawrey QC.
Mr Mawrey, sitting as election commissioner, is presiding over an election court considering allegations of widespread postal voterigging in Aston and Bordesley Green by Labour candidates at the 2004 city council elections.
The three Labour candidates who topped the poll in the Aston ward - Muhammad Afzal, Mohammed Kazi and Mohammed Islam - deny any wrongdoing.
In evidence given to the court, sitting at the Birmingham and Midland-Institute, Coun Hemming said he felt the council elections office could have done more to detect and prevent postal vote misuse.
People who supposedly had requested postal votes to be sent to addresses where they did not live could have been contacted to see whether their applications were honest.
If that had been done before the June 10 elections last year, there would have been an opportunity to cancel fraudulent postal votes, he claimed.
Mr Coppel said Ms Homer and her staff had no powers to mount such an investigation.
There were hints that Ms Homer could have prevented alleged corrupt and illegal practices, but she had in fact carried out her duties properly and diligently.
Coun Hemming told the court there were many instances of postal votes being improperly acquired in the weeks before the election.
On one occasion Labour supporters offered a postman a £500 bribe for a bag full of postal vote forms and threatened to kill him if he did not comply, he said.
During cross-examination by Jerry Hayes, counsel for two of the Aston Labour councillors, Coun Hemming admitted that many of his allegations about postal votes were based on hearsay.
Mr Hayes said little weight could be placed on Coun Hemming's evidence since most of it was "tittle tattle".
There had been a "fetid air" about the election and Coun Hemming and the Liberal Democrats had set out to smear the Aston Labour candidates, Mr Hayes said.
Mr Mawrey said: "Hearsay evidence cuts no ice with me."
The case continues.