时时彩软件:WA's commissioner in Japan, Craig Peacock, sacked after CCC details decade of corruption

广东时时彩投注 www.dej6f.com.cn Updated March 12, 2019 22:23:52

Corrupt behaviour by Western Australia's former trade commissioner in Japan went unchecked for at least a decade and cost taxpayers more than $500,000, a report tabled in State Parliament has alleged.

Key points:

  • The CCC says Craig Peacock double-dipped on cost-of-living allowance claims
  • He also allegedly arranged $700 massages for two MPs at a Japanese bathhouse
  • The WA Government is seeking to recover the money from Mr Peacock

The Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) report claimed Craig Steven Peacock used his role to enrich himself, benefit his friends and to cover up a drink-driving accident in a state-leased car which landed him in prison.

According to the report, Mr Peacock, who served as commissioner from 2002 until last month when his employment was terminated, double-dipped on cost-of-living allowance claims and payments to the tune of at least a half-a-million dollars.

"Many of the red flags so common in corruption were there for all to see," CCC Commissioner John McKechnie said.

The report also claimed that in 2015, Mr Peacock used state resources to arrange for two Legislative Council members, Phillip Edman and Brian Ellis, to have $700 massages at a Japanese bathhouse known as a "soapland".

Text messages obtained by the CCC as part of its investigation showed Mr Edman said to Mr Peacock that he wanted to go to a geisha bar and that "the boys are sexually frustrates (sic)".

He later stated in the text messages: "Never had a Japanese honey before" and "Your (sic) our best trade commissioner".

Drunken car accident kept secret for years

The CCC alleged Mr Peacock kept details of the car accident secret for seven years.

It found in 2011, Mr Peacock was involved in an accident while driving an office car while he had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.35 per cent.

"He drove into a stationary truck and caused damage that needed repairs in the amount of approximately $17,500," the CCC said.

"Mr Peacock spent 48 hours in a police cell and was subject to a court summons appearance. Subsequently, he was fined and his licence suspended for two years."

The CCC said while some people spoke highly of Mr Peacock, he corruptly took advantage of his position over many years.

"He is now paying the price," the CCC said in a statement.

"Taxation authorities in Japan and Australia may take an interest in his finances, he is jobless, without a Japanese visa and without prospects.

"Public officers before setting out on the road of corruption, may be wiser to consider where the journey ends."

Mr McKechnie said the report demonstrated a betrayal of trust and "the diligence and courage of a whistleblower".

"This investigation involved a person who had been in the public service a long time and knew the system, who was a person of authority with a great degree of autonomy and discretion, who believed that he was bigger than the job," he said.

"There was a sense of entitlement about his behaviour and his attitude towards the public purse."

State moves to recover money from Peacock

In a statement, the WA Government said the State Solicitor's Office was seeking to recover approximately $500,000 from Mr Peacock.

It said the State Solicitor had obtained freezing orders, which in effect froze Mr Peacock's assets both in Australia and Japan.

Premier Mark McGowan said he was deeply shocked by the revelations.

"The conduct of this former public officer is appalling and I expect all legal options will be explored, including by WA Police," Mr McGowan said.

"Clearly previous oversight was significantly lacking, and I want to acknowledge the work of employees in the [Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation] who first detected the issue and referred the matter to the relevant authority.

"Director-general Rebecca Brown commenced in her role in September last year and has quickly implemented important reforms to ensure more robust oversight is in place.

"The review and audit recently announced will provide further recommendations to ensure overseas offices undertake their function with integrity and in the public interest."

'Just boys being boys', former MP says

Mr Edman, a former Liberal MLC for the South Metropolitan region, told the CCC the text messages sent to Mr Peacock were not serious and were "just boys being boys".

Mr Ellis, also a former Liberal MP, denied knowledge of the text messages.

Mr Edman and Mr Ellis gave evidence that they visited a bathhouse, but their sole purpose was to bathe and have traditional Japanese massages from a Japanese geisha.

They also vehemently denied they were seeking sexual services, and the report did not suggest the now-former MPs engaged in any illegal activity.

The ABC has attempted to contact Mr Ellis and Mr Edman.

MPs 'violated' standards of behaviour for politicians: Nahan

WA Liberal leader Mike Nahan said while the two former Liberal MPs named in the report had not done anything illegal, the document indicated they had acted inappropriately.

"We have certain standards of behaviour for politicians — they clearly violated that," Dr Nahan said.

"It was inappropriate behaviour and words and comments made by those ex-members of parliament.

"It does not say anything about the Liberal Party, it says something about the standards and behaviours of ex-members of the Legislative Council."

Topics: states-and-territories, government-and-politics, corruption, foreign-affairs, law-crime-and-justice, perth-6000, japan, wa

First posted March 12, 2019 19:17:02

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