ICAC clarifies position on Noreen Hay

The Independent Commission Against Corruption says it has not "cleared" Wollongong MP Noreen Hay, but yesterday reiterated that she was not an "affected person" in its Wollongong investigation.ICAC Commissioner Jerrold Cripps, QC, said Ms Hay had not been "cleared", but was not classified as a person of interest in the inquiry into Wollongong council."The ICAC has never made a statement to the effect that it has 'cleared' Ms Hay. The commission does not generally make statements about whether people are cleared," Commissioner Cripps said."The view of the ICAC in regard to Ms Hay, as I advised the Premier last week and previously in March 2008, remains that she is not an 'affected' person ... in relation to the commission's then public inquiry concerning the conduct of officers of Wollongong City Council and others."Last week the Mercury revealed claims that former councillor Frank Gigliotti had been invited to a meeting with Ms Hay and developer Frank Vellar in February 2007 where he was asked to overturn a council decision.In a sworn statement, Mr Gigliotti said he felt Ms Hay was acting on Mr Vellar's behalf and that he felt pressured to lodge a rescission motion because of "Noreen's influence in the ALP". He refused the request.Ms Hay has not denied the meeting took place, but said: "It's my understanding ICAC have looked at this, deemed I was not a person of interest and that's it."Yesterday, Ms Hay said Commissioner Cripps' statement concerned "an issue of legalist terminology"."Mr Cripps is simply correcting language used by the media in relation to using the term 'cleared' rather than 'affected' or 'not affected'," she said.Premier Morris Iemma yesterday repeated his support for Ms Hay saying: "Noreen Hay has my confidence and she continues to retain my confidence."

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