An ex-Sydney mayor who was branded corrupt and dumped from council is now headed to court on charges of blackmail, misconduct in public office and lying to the ICAC.
Former Ryde mayor Ivan Petch came to the watchdog’s attention after attempting to leak porn found on a council employee’s laptop to the media.
A local newspaper declined to run the story, but the employee – then-general manager John Neish – quit anyway.
Petch, a former NSW MP, has been ordered to front court later this year charged with misconduct in public office.
He is also facing a charge of being an accessory before the fact of blackmail and six counts of giving false and misleading evidence at ICAC hearings in 2013.
All three offences, if proven, carry hefty jail sentences.
Property developer John Goubran, publicist Anthony Stavrinos, local publisher John Booth and Richard Henricus, who worked for Booth’s newspaper The Weekly Times, have also been charged in relation to the ICAC’s Operation Cavill probe.
Goubran will be prosecuted for blackmail over his alleged part in conveying a threat to Mr Neish that his job at council would be on the line if he failed to form a committee on a local redevelopment proposal.
Henricus is charged with corruptly offering a benefit to a Ryde councillor, after he allegedly offered him positive coverage in The Weekly Times if he withdrew his opposition to a development application put forward by Booth.
Stavrinos and Booth have been charged with giving false and misleading evidence at ICAC hearings in 2013.