21/11/2008 - 10:44

McRae let off despite misconduct: CCC

21/11/2008 - 10:44

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A report from the Corruption and Crime Commission has not recommended prosecuting former Labor Minister, Tony McRae despite finding Mr McRae's actions involving lobbyist, Julian Grill constituted serious misconduct.

A report from the Corruption and Crime Commission has not recommended prosecuting former Labor Minister, Tony McRae despite finding Mr McRae's actions involving lobbyist, Julian Grill constituted serious misconduct.

 

 

 

 

Full announcement below:

 

Misconduct report on former Minister
21/11/08
The dealings of former Labor Government Minister, Tony McRae, with lobbyist, Mr Julian Grill constituted serious misconduct according to a Corruption and Crime Commission report tabled in the Parliament today.

However, the report did not recommend prosecution and, as Mr McRae was no longer a public officer after losing his seat at the September election, no further action was recommended.

Commissioner Len Roberts-Smith QC said the Commission investigated an allegation that Mr McRae used his position in 2006 as the Acting Minister for Planning and Infrastructure to attempt to get Mr Grill and his business partner, Mr Brian Burke, to organise a fundraising dinner for his election campaign.

That investigation into possible misconduct by public officers as a result of the lobbying activities of Mr Grill and Mr Burke included public hearings held early last year.

The report said Mr Grill was representing the developer of a large tract of land at Moore River in the Shire of Gingin.

On 9 October 2006, on the recommendation of the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Mr McRae reversed an earlier decision that the zoning for the land had to be readvertised.

The decision was favourable to the developer. The report said that Mr McRae's decision was made entirely properly.

On 11 October 2006, Mr McRae's electoral office staff told him they were concerned that a fundraising dinner he was organising had had very few responses and they wanted to talk about it with someone who knew about fundraising.

Mr McRae said he would phone Mr Grill. During the call Mr McRae ascertained that Mr Grill did not know that a decision favourable to his client had been made; indicated that he had not yet seen the paperwork on the matter but would call for it immediately; and then discussed the fundraising dinner with Mr Grill who said he could organise one with Mr Burke.

However, the report said the fundraising dinner never took place as the Commission started public hearings into Smiths Beach on 23 October 2006, and on 26 October 2006 the Premier, Mr Alan Carpenter, turned away on arrival from a fundraising dinner for another Member of Parliament when he discovered it had been organised by Mr Burke.

After the Commission's public hearings Mr McRae claimed in the media that a telephone call he had made that had been intercepted but not revealed by the Commission would clear his name because it would show he had refused to meet Mr Grill and a client for whom he was lobbying.

However, at a private hearing on 6 July 2007 Mr McRae admitted his recollection in regard to the telephone call was incorrect as in the call he had in fact agreed to the meeting.

Mr McRae's then Chief of Staff, Mr Rewi Lyall, also had contact with Mr Grill during the period but the report said it did not involve misconduct.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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