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MEDIA ALERT: ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning the City of Ryde Mayor, Cr Ivan Petch, starts next week

Friday 12 July 2013

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing at 10:00 am 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 ICAC will also investigate whether Cr Petch and City of Ryde councillors Victor Tagg, Jeffrey Salvestro-Martin, Terry Perram, Michael Butterworth and Justin Li received undisclosed political donations in the form of election advertising in the lead up to the September 2012 local government elections.

A witness list for next week's proceedings is attached. Please note that this list is subject to change. 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.

Time:               9:30 am – short media briefing
                       10:00 am – inquiry commences

Date:              Monday 15 July 2013

Location:       ICAC Hearing Room
                        Level 7, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney

A short media briefing will be held from 9:30 am on procedural and logistical matters.

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



Please note that this list is subject to change.

Week commencing Monday 15 July 2013

Mr John Neish
Mr Tony Abboud
Mr John Goubran
Mr Bryan Belling
Mr Robbie Patterson
Mr Roy Newsome
Mr Bruce McCann
Mr Charles Parisi
Mr Justin Li
Mr Victor Tagg
Mr Michael Butterworth
Mr Terry Perram
Mr Jeffrey Salvestro-Martin
Mr Warwick Cooper
Mr John Mahony
Ms Denise Pendleton
Ms Danielle Dickson
Mr Stefano Laface
Mr John Booth
Mr Bill Pickering
Mr Nathaniel Smith

Week commencing Monday 22 July 2013
Mr Richard Henricus
Mr Norman Cerreto
Mr Anthony Stavrinos
Mr Ivan Petch