Updated: Jul 20, 2022
The friendlyjordies team has reviewed several incidents relating to the positions, connections and use of powers of the NSW police force in recent years.
Recently Retired NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, Did Not Declare Conflicts of Interest
On the 17th of February 2022, an ABC investigation revealed that former NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller failed to declare his co-ownership of racehorses to the state government, potentially breaching anti-corruption rules. Fuller was a hopeful and front runner to be selected by the NSW cabinet to join the board of Racing NSW, following an endorsement by Sports Minister Stuart Ayres.
Fuller owned shares in racehorses alongside two wealthy businessmen, one who became a subject within criminal investigations and another who had previously won police contracts.
Fuller failed to disclose his shares in two racehorses co-owned with David Vandyke, a high-profile racehorse trainer and former drug addict who had also been fined and banned from the sport for doping his horses.
Another of the horses was also co-owned by David Levy, whose company Ozmart Catering Group had been contracted by the NSWPF since 2012 to cater for police functions and events, had also won a $3 Million NSWPF contract in 2017. The company also employed a friend of Fuller’s.
John McCusker, a former police officer and husband of current Assistant Commissioner, Leanne McCusker, ran a popular Sydney food business where Ozmart was previously located. Mrs. McCusker is a friend of Fuller’s and is a frontrunner to become deputy to the new police commissioner, Karen Webb.
In November of 2021, the ABC also lodged an FOI request into the tenders awarded to Ozmart catering. Fuller responded by ordering a review of the tendering process by consulting firm Deloitte at taxpayer expense.
While the review said, "nothing came to [Deloitte's] attention to suggest that NSWPF did not materially comply" with its procurement policies, the report also stated that Deloitte's assessment excluded "verification of potential conflicts of interest".
False Reporting of Events by Police Constable and Son of Kristina Keneally leads to Wrongful Arrest
Luke Brett Moore was arrested on the 25th of February 2021 following a phone call made to Newtown Police Station. While the conversation was regarding the stations strip search policy, the constable speaking to Moore, Constable Daniel Keneally (the son of NSW Senator Kristina Keneally), reported a false series of events involving Moore threatening the commissioner’s life and threatening to follow an officer to his home. Moore has stated that this version of events is “complete garbage.” This was also despite Moore stating that he was recording the conversation. The Fixated Persons Investigation Unit arrested him the day after the conversation, resulting in Moore spending 21 nights within the South Coast Correctional Centre.
Moore was charged with one count of using a carriage service to threaten to kill and two counts of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence. Totalled together, these charges carried a potential maximum sentence of 16 years imprisonment. Once the police ascertained the recording on Moore’s device which went against the constable’s version of events, however, he was released on bail.
On the 24th of November 2021 a successful motion was passed in NSW state parliament requiring the NSW police force, the minister for police and the LECC to provide any documentation relating to the wrongful arrest. The motion was brought by One Nation MLC Rod Roberts, a former police officer himself who claimed to know of a practice utilised by the NSW police where a suspect would be regarded with false accusations.
Moore was subsequently offered a $170,000 compensation payment for his wrongful arrest and custody. Daniel Keneally also sent a concerns notices to both Moore and truecrimnewsweekly.com writer, Serkan Ozturk, for publicising the story.
This is not the first time the Fixated Persons Investigation Unit has come under scrutiny. Paul Gregoire for Sydney Criminal Lawyers has claimed that “[the Fixated Persons Investigation Unit] seems to be a rather handy tool to apply when authorities have a score to settle.”
The NSW Police formed the Fixated Persons unit in April of 2017, shortly before the findings of the Lindt café siege inquest were released. The unit comprises 17 detectives, acting alongside counterpart units in Queensland and Victorian police forces. The unit is intended to prevent lone attackers who display the warning signs of dangerous extremism but who do not meet the criteria of investigation by the counter-terrorism command.
Dugald Saunders Reports Facebook Admin to Police for Facebook Post
On the “Anyone but Nats” Facebook Page, a post was made speculating on the motives and potential conflicts of interests of recent NSW government grants. A $1.1 Million dollar grant was given to a company where local Nationals member, Dugald Saunders’, wife was an employee. Another grant, totalling $1.6 million, was given to a golf club where Saunders’ daughter works.
The page had previously been raised and criticised by ex-deputy premier John Barilaro in NSW parliament. During an ABC Radio Dubbo interview, Saunders claimed he had already reached out to the police commander that morning regarding the post, believed that it was an illegal use of social media and called for the administrators of the page to remove the post. The host then revealed that the founder of the Facebook page, Charles Tym, was present for the interview, who proceeded to defend the Facebook post.
Tym was then, similarly to Moore, charged with use of a carriage service to menace, harass or offend. This is despite the fact that the post made regarding Saunders’ wife and daughter was not originally made by Tym, instead by another admin for the Facebook page. As evidence for the charge against Tym, the police were provided with a text message from June 2020, between Tym and Saunders, with Tym stating: “Dugald if you vote against the CSG Moratorium Bill I promise I will spend every day and every penny we have to unseat you. Rgds Charles Tym”.
Again, similarly to Moore, the charges against Tym were dropped and the proceedings discontinued.
Sources & Further Related Reading