Corrupt City of Perth council worker jailed for 22 months

City of Perth Council House.
City of Perth Council House.

A FORMER City of Perth worker who gave electrical work to his friend, tried to bribe the man’s apprentice and lied to the Corruption and Crime Commission has been jailed for 22 months.

Father-of-four Brett Edward Kenny, 58, who was the council’s facilities officer, directed almost $350,000 worth of work to Harms Electrical Contractors that should have been given to two other contractors, depriving them of the work.

“They would feel they have been cheated by the council,” District Court of Western Australia Judge Audrey Gillian Braddock said on Monday.

Kenny also attempted to bribe Hervey Harms’ apprentice to invoice the city for services under his own ABN and in return, Mr Kenny would approve them and pay himself $1000 each time.

But the apprentice did not enter into any deal and later reported the matter.

Kenny then fled interstate and changed his name, but was extradited to WA.

On the day his trial was scheduled to begin in March, he pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, bribery and providing false evidence to the CCC.

Judge Braddock said it appeared Kenny’s motivation was his friendship with Harms and grievances towards the City of Perth.

The court heard Kenny didn’t like how business was being done at the council, and didn’t find it a friendly workplace.

But that didn’t justify his conduct, which was insidious and difficult to detect, Judge Braddock said.

She noted he managed his finances poorly and was struggling with credit card debt, and had been described as having a predisposition towards self-sabotaging behaviour – a tendency of making matters worse rather than better.

“It is your dishonesty that’s brought all of these events on your own head,” she said.

Harms, 73, was in March sentenced to 21 months in jail, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to aiding a public officer to act corruptly.