ICAC to hold public hearing into former council empolyee

The NSW corruption commission will open public hearings into allegations regarding the awarding of contracts by a former Canterbury-Bankstown Council employee between 2020-2022.

The ICAC said in a statement on Tuesday that a public hearing will be held on June 3 into the allegations involving former council employee Benjamin Webb, former contractor Pietro Cossu and others.

The investigation focuses on whether Mr Cossu and Mr Webb used PMLV Invest & Construct to recruit subcontractors without revealing their interest in the company or the benefits they expected to receive from the contract.

It will also look at whether Mr Cossu and Mr Webb favoured construction company General Works and Construction (GWAC), or used PMLV to subcontract GWAC council contracts.

Commissioner Helen Murrell SC will preside at the public inquiry.

It follows investigations into Inner West Council, City of Canada Bay and Georges River/Hurstville.

In its April 30 report, the ICAC found  a former senior project engineer at Inner West Council engaged  in corrupt conduct that resulted in contracts being awarded to businesses with which he had undisclosed associations.

In November 2023 the watchdog found former City of Canda Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas took bribes from a property developer, and in August 2023 ICAC made findings of serious corruption against former Hurstville/Georges Rivers councillors and property developers in relation to large development proposals in Sydney’s south.

A Council spokesperson said it was Council that brought the issue to the ICAC’s attention.

“We notified the commission about our concerns and have been assisting and fully cooperating with their inquiries,” the spokesperson said.

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