RailCorp and Department of Family & Community services – allegations of public officials corrupting soliciting funds (Operation Spector)

Year: 2014 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations that Joseph Camilleri, former RailCorp general manager, maintenance contracts, and his sister, Carmen Attard, an employee at Housing NSW, used their positions as public officials to corruptly solicit funds from other people including public officials and government contractors.

In its report on the investigation, made public on 13 October 2014, the ICAC finds that former RailCorp manager Joseph Camilleri, Housing NSW employee Carmen Attard, former RailCorp employee Saviour (Sam) Cassar, Kevin McCarthy, an employee of a RailCorp contractor, Anthony Courtman, a former employee of a RailCorp contractor, and Mark Ross-Smith, a former RailCorp consultant, engaged in corrupt conduct.

The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Mr Camilleri, Mr McCarthy, Mr Cassar, Mrs Attard and Ms Camilleri for offences under the Crimes Act 1900.

The ICAC is also of the opinion that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Mrs Attard for breaches of the Housing NSW code of conduct with a view to terminating her services with that authority.

Findings of corrupt conduct

Corrupt conduct findings are made against Mr Camilleri, Mrs Attard and four of the persons who provided money to Mr Camilleri.

The Commission found that Mr Camilleri engaged in corrupt conduct by:

  • receiving $428,000 from RailCorp contractor Kevin McCarthy between October 2012 and February 2013, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr McCarthy

  • receiving $57,000 from RailCorp contractor Terrance Coleman between November 2012 and January 2013, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Coleman and which did influence him to exercise those functions by placing Mr Coleman in contact with other RailCorp employees

  • receiving $3,000 from RailCorp contractor Anthony Courtman on 13 August 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Courtman and which did influence him to exercise those functions by including the company for which Mr Courtman worked in a RailCorp tender panel and alerting Mr Courtman to an imminent RailCorp tender

  • soliciting $10,000 from RailCorp contractor Andrew Rogers on 14 February 2013, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Rogers

  • receiving $36,000 from RailCorp contractor Mark Ross-Smith between 9 and 10 August 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Ross-Smith and which did influence him to exercise those functions to arrange for Mr Ross-Smith's engagement as a RailCorp project manager

  • receiving $2,000 from RailCorp employee Theodore Vavayis in July 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Vavayis

  • receiving $56,000 from RailCorp employee Saviour (Sam) Cassar between May and July 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Cassar and which did influence him to exercise those functions by facilitating Mr Cassar's application for a voluntary separation payment

  • receiving $32,000 from RailCorp employee Ray Oweis in October 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Oweis

  • receiving $5,000 from RailCorp employee Ray Furfaro on 22 May 2012 and soliciting further payments from Mr Furfaro a short time later, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Furfaro

  • receiving $9,000 from RailCorp employee Pierre Rochecouste between June 2012 and September 2012, the receipt of which Mr Camilleri knew would tend to influence him to exercise his official functions in favour of Mr Rochecouste.

The Commission found that Mrs Attard engaged in corrupt conduct in 2012 by soliciting and receiving $44,000 from her subordinate Housing NSW employees, the receipt of which she knew would tend to influence her to exercise her official functions in favour of those staff members.

The Commission found that Mr McCarthy engaged in corrupt conduct by providing $428,000 to Mr Camilleri, or to Mr Camilleri's daughter, Jessica Camilleri, at Mr Camilleri's request, between October 2012 and February 2013, for the purpose of influencing Mr Camilleri to exercise his official functions in Mr McCarthy's favour.

The Commission found that Mr Courtman engaged in corrupt conduct by providing Mr Camilleri with $3,000 on 13 August 2012 for the purpose of influencing Mr Camilleri to exercise his official functions in Mr Courtman's favour.

The Commission found that Mr Ross-Smith engaged in corrupt conduct by providing Mr Camilleri with a total of $36,000 on 9 and 10 August 2012 for the purpose of influencing Mr Camilleri to exercise his official RailCorp functions in Mr Ross-Smith's favour.

The Commission found that Mr Cassar engaged in corrupt conduct by providing $56,000 to Mr Camilleri between May 2012 and July 2012 for the purpose of influencing Mr Camilleri to exercise his official functions in Mr Cassar's favour.

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 Commission is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of:

Joseph Camilleri for offences of corruptly soliciting or receiving a benefit contrary to section 249B(1) of the Crimes Act 1900

Kevin McCarthy for offences of corruptly giving a benefit contrary to section 249B(2) of the Crimes Act

Sam Cassar for offences of corruptly giving a benefit contrary to s 249B(2) of the Crimes Act

Carmen Attard for offences of corruptly soliciting or receiving a benefit contrary to section 249B(1) of the Crimes Act

Jessica Camilleri for an offence under section 351A of the Crimes Act of recruiting Mr Camilleri to carry out a criminal activity, being the destruction of documents or other things relating to the subject matter of the Commission's investigation contrary to section 88(2)(a) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

Updates

On 16 December 2014, the Commission sent a brief of evidence to the DPP.

On 2 February 2016, the DPP advised the Commission that there is sufficient evidence to charge Joseph Camilleri with one count of misconduct in public office, and Jessica Camilleri with three counts of using a false document contrary to section 254 (b) (ii) of the Crimes Act and one count of the common law offence of inciting a crime by inciting Joseph Camilleri to destroy documents that relate to the Commission's investigation in contravention of section 88(2)(a) of the ICAC Act.

On 4 October 2016, Mr and Ms Camilleri were committed to the Sydney District Court. The matters were set for trial on 3 October 2017.

On 3 October 2017, Ms Camilleri indicated to the Court that she intended to plead guilty. The matter was adjourned to settle the facts. On 6 October 2017, pleas of guilty were formally entered to three counts of making a false statement to obtain a financial advantage and one count of incitement to commit a crime. On 25 May 2018, the matter was adjourned to 6 December 2018 for hearing on disputed facts. On 6 December 2018, the matter was adjourned to 18 April 2019 for sentence hearing, on which date it was part heard. It is next listed for 5 July 2019.

Also on 3 October 2017, the Crown advised the Court that the DPP had decided not to proceed with the prosecution of Mr Camilleri. The Crown sought leave to withdraw the charges, which was granted by the Court. The trial was vacated with no further proceedings to follow.

The DPP did not consider that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with charges against Mr McCarthy, Mr Cassar or Mrs Attard. The DPP's advice has been accepted by the Commission.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Carmen Attard for the specified disciplinary offence of misconduct as defined in Chapters 4.2 and 4.3 of the Housing NSW code of conduct and ethics with a view to dismissing, dispensing with her services or otherwise terminating her services.

On 20 February 2015, the Department of Family and Community Services advised that it had instituted formal misconduct proceedings. A finding was made that Ms Attard engaged in misconduct by failing to manage conflicts of interest in obtaining loans from her work colleagues. Ms Attard was demoted from clerk grade 7/8 to clerk grade 5/6, and a determmination made that she not supervise staff for a period of two years and undertake training in identifying and managing conflicts of interest.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

The Commission did not consider it was necessary to make any corruption prevention recommendations as the investigation did not raise any systemic issues.

Media Releases

ICAC finds six corrupt following investigations into the soliciting and receipt of money within RailCorp and Housing NSW

13 Oct 2014

In its report Investigation into the conduct of a RailCorp manager and a Housing NSW employee, released today, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) finds that two public officials used their official positions to solicit and receive over $682,000 from employees and contractors.

Operation Spector report concerning RailCorp and Housing NSW and the Operation Yaralla report concerning the Sydney Local Health District to be furnished 13 October 2014

8 Oct 2014

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will furnish its reports on the Operation Spector and Operation Yaralla investigations to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on Monday 13 October 2014 at 10.00am.

Media alert: Public inquiry into alleged corrupt solicitation of funds by public officials starts Monday

14 Feb 2014

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption's (ICAC) public inquiry into allegations concerning the solicitation of funds by public officials will commence on Monday 17 February 2014, at 10:00 am.

ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning alleged corrupt solicitation of funds by public officials

3 Feb 2014

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 17 February 2014 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations that Joseph Camilleri, former RailCorp general manager, maintenance contracts, and his sister, Carmen Attard, an employee at the Department of Family and Community Services (DFACS), used their positions as public officials to corruptly solicit funds totalling over $1.5 million from other people including public off ...

Witness 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.

 

Filename File Size KB Date pp. Time
17-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00001-00033_from11.10am_to_12.49pm.pdf 1352 00001-00033 11.10am_to_12.49pm
17-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00034-00078_from_1.48pm_to_3.57pm.pdf 126 00034-00078 1.48pm_to_3.57pm
18-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00079-00134_from_9.56am_to_12.40pm.pdf 155 00079-00134 9.56am_to_12.40pm
18-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00135-00181_from_1.59pm_to_4.02pm.pdf 125 00135-00181 1.59pm_to_4.02pm
19-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00182-00252_from_10.00am_to_12.46pm.pdf 175 00182-00252 10.00am_to_12.46pm
19-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00253-00299_from_2.02pm_to_3.54pm.pdf 124 00253-00299 2.02pm_to_3.54pm
20-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00300-00353_from_10.00am_to_12.45pm.pdf 142 00300-00353 10.00am_to_12.45pm
20-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00354-00406_from_2.00pm_to__4.04_pm.pdf 136 00354-00406 2.00pm_to__4.04_pm
25-2-2014 Operation Spector transcript pp. 00407-00478 from 10.00am to 12.47pm (2.89 MB).pdf 3029 00407-00478 10.00am to 12.47pm
25-2-2014 Operation Spector transcript pp. 00479-00533 from 2.07pm to 4.00pm (1.99 MB).pdf 2091 00479-00533 2.07pm to 4.00pm
26-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00534-00615_from_10.03am_to_12.57pm.pdf 194 00534-00615 10.03am_to_12.57pm
26-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00616-00670_from_2.00pm_to_3.55pm.pdf 145 00616-00670 2.00pm_to_3.55pm
27-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00671-_00749_from_10.00am_to_12.45pm.pdf 188 00671-_00749 10.00am_to_12.45pm
27-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00750-00809_from_2.01pm_to_4.27pm.pdf 147 00750-00809 2.01pm_to_4.27pm
28-2-2014_Operation_Spector_transcript_pp._00810-00813_from_10.22am_to_10.27pm.pdf 16 00810-00813 10.22am_to_10.27pm
Exhibits Public notices