Department of Corrective Services – investigation into whether a DCS correctional officer and others supplied contraband to inmates (Operation Cicero)

Year: 2010 Status: Completed

The ICAC conducted an investigation into whether Sebastian Wade, a Senior Corrective Services Officer with the Department of Corrective Services (Corrective Services NSW), and others supplied contraband including drugs and mobile telephones to inmates of the John Morony Correctional Centre in return for payment.

In its report on this investigation, which was made public on 27 July 2010, the ICAC made findings of corrupt conduct against Mr Wade.The ICAC has stated its opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions be sought with respect to the prosecution of Mr Wade for various offences and has made 14 corruption prevention recommendations to minimise or prevent similar conduct occurring in the future.

Findings of corrupt conduct

The ICAC has found that Sebastian Wade engaged in corrupt conduct in relation to supplying contraband to inmates at the John Morony Correctional Centre.

 

Recommendations for prosecutions 

The Commission must seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any prosecution should be commenced. The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and conducts all prosecutions. The Commission provides information on this website in relation to the status of prosecution recommendations and outcomes as advised by the DPP. The progress of matters is generally within the hands of the DPP. Accordingly, the Commission does not directly notify persons affected of advice received from the DPP or the progress of their matters generally.

The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the DPP should be sought with respect to the prosecution of Sebastian Wade for: offences of receiving corrupt payments from the inmate associates A1, A2 and A3 on behalf of the inmates P1, P2 and P3 respectively contrary to section 249B of the Crimes Act 1900; and offences under section 87 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 of giving false or misleading evidence to the Commission.

On 18 November 2010, Sebestian Wade pleaded guilty to three counts of corruptly receiving a benefit contrary to section 249B of the Crimes Act, and four counts of giving false evidence to the ICAC contrary to section 87 of the ICAC Act.

On 15 April 2011, Mr Wade was sentenced to a term of 12 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months for each count of corruptly receive a benefit contrary to section 249B(1) of the Crimes Act. In relation to the four counts of giving false evidence to the ICAC contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act, Mr Wade was sentenced to a term of 15 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months.

 

Recommendations for disciplinary action

The Commission is of the opinion that Corrective Services NSW should give consideration to taking disciplinary action against Sebastian Wade with a view to his dismissal.

On 16 March 2011, Corrective Services NSW dismissed Mr Wade.

 

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The ICAC has made the following 14 corruption prevention recommendations to Corrective Services NSW to minimise or prevent similar conduct occurring in the future:

RECOMMENDATION 1

That within one year of the CSNSW implementation plan being submitted to the Commission, staff lockers at all correctional centres with security screening points are relocated so the lockers are placed before the security screening point where staff enter the facility.

RECOMMENDATION 2

That the Commissioner of CSNSW instructs gatehouse personnel at security screening points to investigate alerts from metal detector machines and screening wands by:

1. Requiring staff to empty their pockets and remove belts and shoes, and
2. examining all items produced. 

RECOMMENDATION 3 

That the Commissioner of CSNSW instructs gatehouse personnel that only totally empty or sealed water bottles are to be allowed into correctional centres.

RECOMMENDATION 4

That at all correctional centres, staff appointed to gatehouse duty should not be permanently in this position. All suitable staff should be rotated randomly and at frequent intervals onto gatehouse duty.

RECOMMENDATION 5

That at all correctional centres at least one closed-circuit television camera is located in a position where it is able to record searches of staff as they enter and exit.

RECOMMENDATION 6

That film footage from the closed-circuit television camera(s) for search areas should be recorded and kept, to enable managers to check at regular intervals that staff were properly searched.

RECOMMENDATION 7

That the Commissioner of CSNSW instructs managers to make frequent checks of film footage of searches of staff from closed-circuit television camera(s).

RECOMMENDATION 8

That walk-through metal detector screening machines be located so staff must walk through at least one when entering and exiting all correctional centres. Staff should be unable to walk around a metal detector screening machine.

RECOMMENDATION 9

That CSNSW uses passive alert dogs during random searches of custodial correctional officers while the officers are on parade at the start of their shift, in addition to any other occasions where random searches using passive alert dogs might be performed.

RECOMMENDATION 10

That CSNSW uses passive alert dogs as part of random searches of staff lockers and staff vehicles.

RECOMMENDATION 11

That CSNSW allocates more resources to making additional canine units available to search staff.

RECOMMENDATION 12

That the  Premier introduces an amendment to the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002, and any other relevant legislation, to give the Commissioner of CSNSW non-reviewable powers regarding custodial corrections officers, similar to the power currently held by the Commissioner for NSW Police under section 173 schedule 1 of the Police Act 1990.

RECOMMENDATION 13

That CSNSW implements a system for identifying and managing staff whose conduct suggests there is a likelihood of them engaging in future corrupt conduct.

RECOMMENDATION 14

That the Premier introduces an amendment to the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002, and any other relevant legislation, to give the Commissioner of CSNSW non-reviewable power to remove custodial corrections officers on the basis of a loss of confidence in an officer's suitability to continue as a corrections officer, similar to the power currently held by the Commissioner for NSW Police under section 181(d) of the Police Act 1990. 

 

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan posted below has been provided by Corrective Services NSW in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. Its appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plan by the Commission.

Corrective Services NSW - Implementation plan

 

12 month progress report

The progress report posted below has been provided by Corrective Services NSW in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. It's appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plan by the Commission. 

Corrective Services NSW - 12 month progress report

 

24 month progress report

The progress report posted below has been provided by Corrective Services NSW in response to the ICAC's corruption prevention recommendations. It's appearance here is for information only and does not constitute the approval or endorsement of the plan by the Commission. 

Corrective Services NSW - 24 month progress report - Final

 

 

 

Media Releases Witness

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Download the Witness List (PDF)

Transcripts

View all transcripts associated with this investigation. The Commission makes every effort to post the daily transcripts of its public inquiries on its website by 8:00 pm each day when possible. If the Commission sits later than 4:00 pm, the daily transcripts, particularly the afternoon session, may not be available until the next working day.

 

Exhibits Public notices