Ex-CEO in credit card inquiry

Former Shire of York chief executive Ray Hooper outside the York Town Hall.
Former Shire of York chief executive Ray Hooper outside the York Town Hall.

At a special meeting on Monday, the council voted unanimously to launch a probe into the use of the card and engage auditors to begin investigating.

The report will specifically include card transactions from July 1, 2013, to April 30, 2014, but may also include activity dating back as far as six years.

The data entry on the credit card statements will be compared with purchase dates shown on receipts, together with the day of the week, whether or not it was a public holiday and whether or not Mr Hooper was on leave.

Shire of York President Matthew Reid said he expected the investigation would be completed by the end of the month.

Mr Reid said the special meeting was called following reported widespread community concern that the credit card might have been used inappropriately.

‘There is a lack of confidence in this council, this will re-establish that,’ Mr Reid said.

‘We want to restore public faith in the council’s ability to oversee the finances and administrative duties.

‘The community will see that this is a thorough examination and hopefully we can regain their confidence.’

Mr Reid said some of the credit card transactions to be investigated may relate to past Shire presidents and deputy presidents. He said he hoped the probe would not take too long.

‘It only relates to between 400 and 500 transactions,’ he said.

Mr Reid said the Local Government Minister Tony Simpson was aware of the investigation and had asked to be kept informed.

‘If there was something wrong, it could go the Corruption and Crime Commission,’ Mr Reid said.

Mr Hooper could not be contacted for comment.