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Former NSW Labor Heavyweights Found Corrupt By ICAC

Eddie Obeid Snr, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly may face criminal charges over 'deceptive' conduct.

03/08/2017 10:30 AM AEST | Updated 03/08/2017 10:31 AM AEST
Fairfax Media
Eddie Obeid leaves the Supreme court building on December 1, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.

Former NSW Labor heavyweights Eddie Obeid Snr, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly could face criminal charges after ICAC recommended they be investigated for misconduct in public office over the Australian Water Holdings affair.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Thursday released a report on Operation Credo -- a probe into Australian Water Holdings (AWH). The culmination of three years of inquiries, the Operation Credo findings also recommended police investigate whether to lay fresh charges.

The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of Edward Obeid Sr, Mr Kelly, Mr Brown and Mr Tripodi for common law criminal offences of misconduct in public office.ICAC Report

The report cleared federal senator and cabinet minister Arthur Sinodinos, as well as Liberal powerbroker and former AWH chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, whose gift of a $3000 bottle of Penfold's Grange to Barry O'Farrell led to the then-Premier's political downfall.

Obeid is serving a five-year sentence for misconduct in office.

The Commission found that the following persons engaged in serious corrupt conduct:

  • Tony Kelly by, in 2010, misusing his office as a minister of the Crown by arranging for the preparation and submission of a minute to the Budget Committee of Cabinet, with the intention of improperly favouring Edward Obeid Sr by enabling AWH to proceed to direct negotiation with the NSW Government concerning its PPP proposal for the purchase, supply and operation of water infrastructure in the North West Growth Centre.

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Eddie Obeid arrives to Darlinghurst court complex for sentencing on December 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Fairfax Media)

  • Edward Obeid Sr by, between late 2007 and 2010, misusing his position as a member of Parliament to promote AWH's interests to each of Michael Costa, the Hon Nathan Rees, the Hon Morris Iemma, Phillip Costa and the Hon Kristina Keneally, at a time when he knew that the advancement of those interests would financially benefit the Obeid family in the event a member of the Obeid family or an Obeid family entity acquired shares in AWH.

  • Edward Obeid Sr by, in 2010, misusing his position as a member of Parliament to influence Mr Kelly, Mr Brown and Mr Tripodi to advance Obeid family interests by working towards the submission of a minute to the Budget Committee of Cabinet recommending the NSW Government enter into direct negotiations with AWH with respect to the AWH PPP proposal at a time when he knew that a successful outcome for that proposal would financially benefit the Obeid family in the event a member of the Obeid family or an Obeid family entity acquired shares in AWH

  • Joe Tripodi by, in 2010, misusing his position as a member of Parliament to prepare a draft Cabinet minute with the intention that it would be used by Mr Brown and Mr Kelly as the basis for a minute to be submitted by Mr Kelly

  • Gilbert (Laurie) Brown by, in 2010, misusing his public office through his involvement in the preparation of a minute for submission to the Cabinet Standing Committee on the Budget ("Budget Committee of Cabinet") with the intention of improperly favouring Edward Obeid Sr by enabling AWH to proceed to direct negotiation with the NSW Government concerning its public private partnership (PPP) proposal for the purchase, supply and operation of water infrastructure in the North West Growth Centre.

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