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ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning the City of Ryde Mayor, Councillor Ivan Petch

Wednesday 19 June 2013

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 15 July 2013 as part of an investigation it is conducting into a number of allegations involving City of Ryde Mayor, Councillor Ivan Petch, and others, including the alleged release of confidential council information on many occasions, and for various reasons including in an attempt to undermine council employees, such as the former General Manager, Mr John Neish.

The Commission is also investigating an allegation that Cr Petch played a role in an offer conveyed to Mr Neish that his employment would be secure if he could delay consideration of the proposed redevelopment of the Ryde Civic Precinct. A further attempt by Cr Petch to influence a decision required to be made by the acting general manager of the council is also being investigated.

Allegations that Cr Petch has failed to disclose financial relationships and potential conflicts of interest while serving as a councillor on the City of Ryde Council are also under investigation.

The Commission is also investigating an allegation that a corrupt offer was made to City of Ryde Councillor Bill Pickering by an employee of a local newspaper, The Weekly Times, to persuade Cr Pickering to support a development application.

The public inquiry will start at 10:00 am and will be held in the Commission's hearing room at Level 7, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Assistant Commissioner Theresa Hamilton will preside at the public inquiry, and Counsel Assisting the Commission will be Mr Jason Downing.

The inquiry is expected to continue for 7-10 days.

Media contact: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801