The NSW corruption watchdog has closed its files on the salacious development scandal that rocked Wollongong City Council four years ago.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) yesterday confirmed all matters relating to its 2008 investigation into the council and decisions on whether to prosecute 11 people named in the inquiry had been finalised.
Information contained on ICAC’s website reveals the last four outstanding matters – possible charges flagged against former council town planner Beth Morgan and developer Frank Vellar regarding the duo’s alleged conduct in handling the Quattro development application – were reconciled last week.
ICAC confirmed it would not proceed with court action against Ms Morgan or Mr Vellar, as it had received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions that there was insufficient ‘‘admissible’’ evidence to prosecute either one.
Under laws governing ICAC inquiries, the majority of evidence presented at hearings and used by ICAC to come to its conclusions is deemed ‘‘inadmissable’’ in criminal proceedings, meaning it can not be used to prosecute people in criminal trials.
ICAC’s decision brings to an end one of the darkest chapters in Wollongong’s history.
Headlined by an explosive two-week public hearing in February 2008, the ICAC inquiry prompted the sacking of the city’s councillors and resulted in the corruption watchdog flagging a possible 139 criminal charges against 11 individuals – including councillors, developers and public servants.
In the end, just 21 charges were laid against six people.
Only three individuals – Wollongong developers Frank Vellar and Glen Tabak and former councillor Frank Gigliotti – were found guilty on a total of seven charges.
Gigliotti was the sole perpetrator to spend time behind bars, serving four months in a minimum security prison in the state’s south.
Vellar was sentenced to a 10-month intensive correctional order, allowing him to remain at liberty while serving his sentence by way of community service and close monitoring from Corrective Services.
While an arrest warrant issued in September 2010 for convicted conman Ray Younan is still outstanding, ICAC has concluded it is unlikely to finalise any proceedings against him, as Mr Younan ‘‘had remained overseas and was unlikely to return’’.