Three men admit North Metro Health Service corruption

Three men admit North Metro Health Service corruption

THREE contractors have admitted their entanglement in Perth’s North Metropolitan Health Service fraud scandal, but a former bureaucrat at the centre of the corruption and another man allegedly involved are yet to be charged.

An explosive Corruption and Crime Commission report last year revealed John Fullerton, David Mulligan and Shaun Ensor took gratuities including overseas flights and accommodation from 11 contractors for a decade.

When four of the five contractors who have so far been charged over the scam appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, it emerged Mr Fullerton and Grant Alexander, remained “suspects” and had not been charged.

The magistrate was told the pair had “absconded” but a detective told reporters that was not the case, although one of the men was interstate and the other was overseas.

One of the contractors, Anthony Richard Williams, entered guilty pleas to seven counts of enabling Mr Fullerton to act corruptly so as to gain a personal benefit.

Another, Philip Stephen Wood, pleaded guilty to 17 charges including wilfully destroying evidence, while Liam Glenn Howard indicated he would plead guilty to all of his 18 fraud charges.

The court heard Howard was instructed by Mr Alexander to create false invoices to siphon off cash allocated for legitimate Health Department work to pay for construction at Mr Fullerton’s home.

“He basically was told how to do it and he went along with it,” Howard’s lawyer said.

The CCC said the lavish renovations amounted to $170,000.

Mr Fullerton, Mr Mulligan and Mr Ensor also pocketed more than $600,000 in redundancy payments, which Attorney-General John Quigley says will be hard to recover.

The department knew the CCC probe was underway when the payments were made, Mr Quigley said in June.

Wood will face the District Court of WA on October 11, while Williams will face the same court on October 31.

Howard will return to Perth Magistrates Court later on Thursday.

Two other contractors, Garth Norman Delavale and Ian John Tremain, had their cases adjourned and will face court again in September.