Monday, June 18, 2012

Lying Top cop let off by another discredited cop

What on earth were they thinking of in getting the bungling Mick Keelty to head the inquiry?

THE senior command of WA's police service is in turmoil despite Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan being cleared by the Corruption and Crime Commission.

The Sunday Times understands that the relationship between Mr O'Callaghan and several of his senior officers is extremely strained and unlikely to improve after Friday's release of the CCC report that found the Police Commissioner didn't engage in misconduct, as strictly defined by the CCC Act.

"Absolutely, there's tensions at the top . . . It's between very senior people," one source said.

The CCC investigated allegations that Mr O'Callaghan provided false or misleading statements about his knowledge and actions on the day of the Perth Hills bushfires, which destroyed 71 homes in February last year.

Though Mr O'Callaghan is hoping Friday's report draws a line under the saga, sources reveal there is also discomfort in the Barnett Government about the contents of the CCC report.

The Sunday Times understands there is a strong resistance in some parts of Government to Mr O'Callaghan's reappointment as the state's top cop. Sources indicated the Government would certainly take its time before reaching a decision, despite Mr O'Callaghan's term expiring in August.

Government figures are carefully monitoring tensions in the police hierarchy and are worried about the extent to which confidence in Mr O'Callaghan has been undermined.

Deputy Commissioner Chris Dawson last night said both he and Mr O'Callaghan had been able to perform their duties despite difficulties imposed by the CCC probe.

On Friday, Mr O'Callaghan said he couldn't answer detailed questions about his evidence before the commission, saying: "As far as I'm concerned this is the end of the matter and I am getting on with the business of being the Commissioner of Police."

But the state's former chief firefighter, Craig Hynes, who resigned after the Perth Hills bushfires, broke his silence yesterday, saying he was disappointed with the conclusions of the CCC report.

Mr Hynes, who was the chief operations manager at the Fire and Emergency Services Authority until last September, said the report supported evidence that Mr O'Callaghan had been kept fully informed during the emergency despite his public assertions that FESA had let him down.

The Sunday Times revealed in August that Mr O'Callaghan was at the WACA Ground watching an international cricket match from a corporate box while Roleystone and Kelmscott burnt on February 6.

At the time, Mr O'Callaghan was insistent he was first made aware of the fires by a phone call from FESA official John Butcher about 2.30pm.

He said the call did not reveal the extent of the unfolding catastrophe.

Mr O'Callaghan said, as a result, he stayed at the cricket until 4.40pm when he received a phone call from his deputy Mr Dawson, saying homes had been destroyed.

He claimed he then left the cricket "immediately" to walk "across the road" to the police headquarters to organise a meeting of the State Emergency Co-ordination Group, which he chairs. But the CCC report revealed swipe card records showed he did not enter headquarters until 6pm.

An official inquiry into the Perth Hills inferno was conducted by former federal police commissioner Mick Keelty. In his findings, Mr Keelty said he was concerned that the SECG meeting was not held until 6.30pm.

The CCC reported there was "no doubt" that Mr O'Callaghan received earlier phone calls from assistant police commissioner Wayne Gregson, now the FESA boss.

Mr Gregson told the CCC that he could "say with some certainty" that he told Mr O'Callaghan the fires had destroyed houses in Roleystone by phone at 2.13pm.

Mr O'Callaghan said it was possible noise and wind at the WACA meant he didn't hear Mr Gregson properly.

Asked by the CCC why he didn't move to hear better, Mr O'Callaghan said: "I was not at a place where I could just disappear up an alley or into a corridor, so I would have had to get a whole row of people to move."

The CCC report said it would have been prudent and more open for Mr O'Callaghan to have revealed his conversation with Mr Gregson when giving evidence to a parliamentary committee.

Despite discrepancies, the CCC found the evidence "does not support a misconduct opinion" under the CCC Act.


1 comment:

  1. let's get this straight; the commissioner of police has repeatedly gone out of his way to protect and promote his own AFTER they have been exposed committing serious misconduct and lying eg. officers given promotions, extended paid time off and plush jobs in the private sector after being exposed as lying during testimony and knowingly providing false evidence - Andrew Mallard, protecting and promoting officers involved in torturing Kevin Spratt at the Perth Watch House. Again, the commissioner and his henchmen knowingly provided false information and vitriolic lies on a media presented flow chart to 'win the public over' against the victim. It is of no surprise whatsoever that such a commissioner, when put on the hot spot re his own negligence, will lie just like any other corrupt police officer. police officers are never 'partially corrupt'. once a police officer allows himself to lie, distort the truth or commit misconduct, there's no turning back. karl o'callaghan quite simply lied during the investigation (re time and content of gregson call and subsequent chronology of events) because lying was the easier option when it came down to how ugly it looked ie chairman and commissioner 'watching the cricket' whilst 71 homes ablaze!! it wasn't a matter of culpability, it was a matter of whether to disclose details that might attach some more public mud to a very politically minded commissioner or lying. when the pressure's on, a corrupt officer will choose the latter every single time...what has transpired from that time is like a page straight out of George Orwell's Animal Farm.


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