MEDIA ALERT: ICAC to resume public inquiry into allegations concerning former City of Ryde Mayor tomorrow

Thursday 19 September 2013

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will resume its Operation Cavill public inquiry concerning allegations involving former City of Ryde Mayor Councillor Ivan Petch, and others, tomorrow (Friday 20 September) at 10:00 am.

The public inquiry is expected to continue for one day. The witnesses to be called are Cr Artin Etmekdjian, David Antoun, John Antoun, and John Goubran.

Operation Cavill concerns a number of allegations involving Cr 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.

Assistant Commissioner Theresa Hamilton will continue to preside at the public inquiry. Counsel Assisting the Commission is Mr Jason Downing.

Time:            10:00 am
Date:            Friday 20 September 2013

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

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