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NSW Police Commissioner in Reform Row

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  • NSW Police Commissioner in Reform Row

    Reform row has legal bill soaring
    The Daily Telegraph (NSW)
    By NAOMI TOY
    03jul01
    THE cost of a public inquiry into allegations that senior officers obstructed the reform process is set to skyrocket as cracks emerge in the once united front of the upper echelons of the NSW Police Service.

    An anticipated conflict between the evidence of Commissioner Peter Ryan and one of his most senior officers, former Internal Affairs commander Mal Brammer, saw another two barristers and three solicitors join the already cramped bar table at the Police Integrity Commission yesterday.
    The fees for the additional lawyers will be at least another $8000 a day, paid for by the NSW taxpayer. It has already cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The slow progress of the hearing, which was meant to start and finish in March, has also resulted in Judge Paul Urquhart having his term extended so he can complete the inquiry.

    His five-year term was due to expire on August 18 but it now seems that he will still be hearing evidence by that date. The delays also mean that the allegations will continue to dog the police service through most of the remainder of the year.

    The Police Integrity Commission is today expected to adjourn public hearings into the allegations for at least a month, after Mr Brammer found himself at odds with Mr Ryan and the Police Service and in need of separate legal representation.

    It has not been specified what issue or issues may be in dispute but Mr Brammer's evidence to the PIC so far has been critical of Mr Ryan in a number of ways.

    During eight days in the witness box in March, Mr Brammer told the PIC that Mr Ryan's involvement in the secondment of two English officers could "border on maladministration".

    Mr Brammer also said it was "highly improper" of Mr Ryan to pursue allegations against one of those officers after he had been sacked.

    He has also said it was "technically incorrect" for Mr Ryan to tell a parliamentary committee on June 6, 2000, that the Crime Management Support Unit had been recently established.

    But it was not until 7.30am last Monday that Mr Brammer was told he would no longer be represented by Barry Toomey, QC, just three hours before the PIC was informed.

    Mr Brammer will now be represented by Clive Steirn, SC, while Mr Ryan also has a separate three-man legal team headed by Lionel Robberds, QC, to represent him and the police service solely in relation to Mr Brammer's evidence.

    Mr Toomey continues to act for Mr Ryan, all other police officers who have been called to give evidence and the Police Service itself.

    The hearing was initially set down for two weeks in March with eight witnesses, including Mr Ryan, to give evidence.

    So far an extra 12 witnesses have been called with many more anticipated.



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    We are the Police! Resistance is Futile!
    "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

  • #2
    Hate to hear this about any department.

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    I used to have an open mind - but my brains kept falling out.

    6P1 (retired)
    6P1 (retired)

    Comment


    • #3
      It really distracts the focus of the rank and file. It really is an embarassment.

      ------------------
      We are the Police! Resistance is Futile!
      "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

      Comment

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