A former Frankston City Council manager has pleaded guilty to multiple offences including obtaining property by deception and misconduct in public office and could face 25 years in jail.
Andrew James Williamson, Frankston’s former manager of infrastructure, pleaded guilty on August 18 to charges of obtaining property by deception to the amount $460,870, attempting to obtain property by deception for the amount of $65,530, and misconduct in public office, court documents show.
The three offences carry a total maximum sentence of 25 years jail.
It follows an investigation by Victorian’s corruption watchdog into allegations of improper procurement practices at the council.
Williamson’s conduct in this regard as Infrastructure Manager for the Council, was deceptive and resulted in him obtaining monies he was not entitled to and to the detriment of the Council.Director of Public Prosecutions
Williamson’s co-accused, electrician Aiden John Magnik, the owner of an electrical company which supplied services to the Melbourne council, will stand trial over his alleged offences, the court documents say.
The court was told Williamson was appointed to the “substantial and responsible position” of Manager Infrastructure at Frankston in October 2016, where he had a financial delegation limit of $100,000.
The court was told Mr Magnik did renovations at the home of Williamson’s partner, for which he charged $8,380.
Soon after Williamson helped Mr Magnik get appointed as a council supplier.
This was an attempt to discharge the renovation debt, the court was told.
An investigation by council later found Williamson had corruptly altered purchasing orders to a company owned by My Magnik to pay him more.
The court also heard Williamson created fake invoices addressed to the Council for payment without any work being performed.
It was alleged that between September 2016 and April 2017 Williamson and Mr Magnik, by deceptive and dishonest conduct, received $460,870 from the Council which they divided to individually to benefit by $346,554 and $114,315 respectively.
It was also alleged that in May 2017 they tried to gain an additional $65,530 by deception.
The crown argued Williamson’s misconduct in public office involved not declaring his conflict of interest, knowingly failing to abide by the council code of conduct and failing to comply with procurement policy.
“Williamson’s conduct in this regard as Infrastructure Manager for the Council, was deceptive and resulted in him obtaining monies he was not entitled to and to the detriment of the Council,” the prosecution said in its plea summary.
Williamson, who resigned on May 26, 2017 before IBAC began its investigation, will be sentenced next month.
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