University of New England – allegations concerning former chancellor (Operation Verdi)
The ICAC investigated allegations including that John Cassidy, the former chancellor of the University of New England (UNE), provided confidential and/or sensitive information, that he acquired in the course of his official functions as chancellor in connection with the sale of the Services UNE Limited-owned Tattersalls Hotel, to his business associate, Darrell Hendry, or otherwise made use of the information, for the benefit of himself and Mr Hendry.
In its report on the investigation, made public on 30 October 2014, the ICAC finds that former UNE chancellor John Cassidy engaged in corrupt conduct.
Findings of corrupt conduct
Mr Cassidy engaged in corrupt conduct by:
misusing confidential information on or about 11 November 2005, which he acquired by reason of his position as chancellor of UNE, to gain advantage for Mr Hendry by informing Mr Hendry that the purchase of the Tattersalls Hotel would be a good investment that Mr Hendry should consider making
failing to disclose, at a meeting of the UNE Council Standing Committee on 21 November 2005, that he had a "material interest" in discussions concerning the sale of the hotel that appeared to raise a conflict with the proper performance of his duties because he knew that Mr Hendry, his business partner and friend, was interested in purchasing the hotel
failing to disclose to Rob Watt, a director of Services UNE Ltd (which was considering Mr Hendry's tender for the purchase of the hotel), the full nature of his relationship with Mr Hendry
failing to disclose, at a meeting of the UNE Council on 8 December 2005, that he had a material interest in matters relating to the sale of the hotel that appeared to raise a conflict of interest with the proper performance of his duties because he knew that Mr Hendry, his business partner and friend, was interested in purchasing the hotel
providing misleading information to the UNE Audit and Compliance Committee in his letter of 5 February 2006. The misleading information concerned his role in the decision to sell the Tattersalls Hotel, the true nature of his relationship with Mr Hendry, when Mr Hendry invited him to become a partner in the hotel, and when he decided to become a partner in the hotel.
Recommendations for prosecutions
As Mr Cassidy's conduct involved disciplinary matters rather than criminal offences, it is not necessary for the Commission to consider obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with respect to his prosecution for any criminal offence.
Recommendations for disciplinary action
As Mr Cassidy is no longer chancellor of UNE, it is not necessary for the Commission to consider whether any disciplinary action should be taken against him or any other action should be taken with a view to his dismissal.
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.
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.