12/03/2019 - 15:24

CCC alleges corrupt actions by WA commissioner in Japan

12/03/2019 - 15:24

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The Corruption and Crime Commission today tabled a report alleging that Craig Steven Peacock acted corruptly for at least a decade and cost Western Australian taxpayers in excess of $500,000.

Steven Peacock represented the state government in Japan for 17 years.

The Corruption and Crime Commission today tabled a report alleging that Craig Peacock acted corruptly for at least a decade and cost Western Australian taxpayers in excess of $500,000.

The CCC’s released its ‘Report on WA Commissioner in Japan’ in state parliament today, which detailed the corruption allegations against the former WA trade commissioner in Japan.

Mr Peacock represented the state government in Tokyo for 17 years, until his employment as commissioner for WA was terminated for misconduct on February 1 2019 by the director general of the Department of Jobs Tourism Science and Innovation.

In a statement, the CCC said Mr Peacock corruptly took advantage of his position.

“Mr Peacock used his role, his position of trust, the discretion afforded him, and limited supervision by his employer, to enrich himself, benefit his friends, and to cover up what could have been a career-ending drink-driving incident,” the CCC said.

The report covered numerous allegations including a decade of double-dipping on cost-of-living allowance claims and payments, which Mr Peacock authorised, totalling nearly $500,000.

Mr Peacock is also alleged to have claimed reimbursements for the cost of utilities and storage totalling $65,000 to which he was not entitled, and alleged to have misused his official passport to travel to China for a convention of the exclusive Beefsteak and Burgundy Club.

The CCC also claimed Mr Peacock was the driver in an unreported crash of a state-leased car while severely intoxicated, after which he spent 48 hours in prison, was fined and disqualified from driving.

The CCC report covered the reimbursements for membership to the Tokyo branch of the Beefsteak and Burgundy Club, where Mr Peaccock served for nearly 13 years as its chief wine master.

It also covered Mr Peacock destroying a computer hard drive following a direction to bring his work computer to Perth, and doing favours for and wining and dining friends at the state's expense.

Premier Mark McGowan said it was the transfer of the Tokyo Office accounts from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet to JTSI that led to the serious misconduct first being suspected in late 2017 by a JTSI employee. The matter was referred to the CCC.

JTSI was unable to commence disciplinary action against Mr Peacock until advised by the CCC.

Mr Peacock was suspended without pay on December 27, 2018 and the department commenced the process to terminate his employment. Mr Peacock’s employment was subsequently terminated on February 1, 2019 and he was not paid any of his entitlements.

The department has commissioned a review and audit of Western Australia’s overseas trade and investment offices, with KPMG engaged to undertake the immediate audit of all eight offices.

The State Solicitor’s Office commenced proceedings on January 23, 2019 to seek recovery of money to which Mr Peacock was not entitled, approximately $500,000 plus interest and costs.

At the same time, the State Solicitor obtained freezing orders, which in effect froze Mr Peacock’s assets both in Australia and Japan. Those orders were served on banks both in Australia and in Japan. 

 

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