Ex-Railcorp manager 'solicited $1.6m'
The Independent Commission Against Corruption hears allegations over Joseph Camilleri's business dealings during the hearing's opening address on Monday.PT3M52S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-32vng 620 349 February 17, 2014
A senior RailCorp manager solicited more than $1.6 million from other public servants and contractors, including an employee of one of the biggest contractors in the country, to give to his daughter who had a serious gambling problem, a corruption hearing heard on Monday.
The payments included $10,000 from RailCorp's former chief executive Rob Mason, who is now the head of the new organisation NSW Trains.
And they included a loan of $428,000 from an employee of UGL, who was responsible for multimillion-dollar maintenance contracts from RailCorp.
Joseph Camilleri obtained the money in 2012 and 2013, during a period in which he was RailCorp's general manager of maintenance contracts and in charge of public tenders worth more than $1 billion, the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard on Monday morning.
In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission Nicholas Polin said Mr Camilleri had been suffering severe financial difficulties from at least 2009, primarily because he was providing large amounts of money to his daughter Jessica Camilleri, also known as Jessica Adouni.
Mr Polin said that during 2012 Ms Camilleri already had significant gambling debts, and was claiming she was being blackmailed by someone with threats of violence. She sought and obtained about $2 million in 2012, most of which came from her father.
"The basis upon which Jessica sought the money was quite bizarre," Mr Polin said.
She claimed the money was to be used to pay legal fees and expenses as a result of her identity being stolen, and claimed that secrecy was required because ASIO was involved.
She created false documents to support her claims, one of which suggested she was due to receive more than $90 million in damages. Mr Polin said the false documents were not sophisticated.
To provide his daughter money Mr Camilleri, who earned more than $300,000 a year in his job, sought and received loans from about 55 people who were RailCorp employees and people involved in tenders for RailCorp contractors.
"Joseph Camilleri held a position of authority over subordinate RailCorp staff whose careers were subject to his influence in an impending staff restructure," Mr Polin said.
"It was implicit that the provision of funds to Joseph Camilleri by RailCorp staff, upon his request, was more likely to result in a favourable outcome for a particular member of staff," he said.
Mr Camilleri also obtained money from staff senior to him and from contractors trying to win work on Sydney's train system. The UGL employee, Kevin McCarthy, lent Mr Camilleri $428,000 between October 2012 and February 2013,
"Mr McCarthy was the main point of contact for UGL with RailCorp during a tender process for the 'L3C' contract," Mr Polin said. "This was a multimillion-dollar maintenance contract."
The contract was awarded to UGL in December 2011 but, after that, the company won other smaller contracts with RailCorp.
"Mr McCarthy was paid a large bonus by UGL on the securing of the L3C contract," Mr Polin said.
An employee of another large contractor, Mark Ross-Smith of Everything Infrastructure, paid Mr Camilleri $36,000 in 2012.
Mr Polin said he anticipated that RailCorp's then chief executive Rob Mason would give evidence that he had personally given Mr Camilleri $10,000 from his own funds when asked by Mr Camilleri to help him settle a case about the identity theft of his daughter.
Mr Mason, since moved by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to the position of chief executive of NSW Trains, is the inquiry's first witness.
Mr Camilleri no longer works for RailCorp.
Mr Camilleri's sister Carmen Attard, who still works at the Department of Family and Community Services, is also accused of soliciting from other public servants for Jessica Camilleri.
Mr Camilleri is alleged to have asked his sister to solicit $100,000 of the $1.6 million.
It is alleged only $100,000 has since been repaid.
The hearing continues before ICAC commissioner Megan Latham.