SENIOR City of Melville officer Todd Cahoon has been cleared of allegations he engaged in serious misconduct and benefited by influencing progression of the proposed wave park project at Tompkins Park.
Mr Cahoon was the officer responsible for a City strategy that suggested moving the Melville Bowling Club away from the site now at the centre of a $25 million wave park proposal, and also owned shares in proponent Wave Park Group (WPG) until September, 2016.But in a statement mirroring findings from the Public Sector Commission in April, the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) said Mr Cahoon had “appropriately declared” his conflict-of-interest in the Wave Park Group to the City.
“There is no evidence of him attempting to disguise his interest,” the CCC’s statement read.
“The CCC has finalised its investigation and informed the City of Melville that based on the evidence currently available, it has not formed an opinion of serious misconduct by any public officer under the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003.”
Mayor Russell Aubrey welcomed the notification from the CCC before taking aim at anti-wave park groups he said had targeted Mr Cahoon.
“Using the professional status of a staff member and any public servant as cannon fodder for personal or political gain is unacceptable from any perspective,” he said.
“It’s also cast the integrity of the City and its processes under unwarranted suspicion and the entire Melville community has a right to an apology after being misled in this malicious manner.”
WPG chairman Andrew Ross was pleased with the decision after what he said were months of “malicious, false and gratuitous statements from individuals and groups who oppose the surf park”.
“Our main focus is completing our development application for the project for submission to State regulatory authorities and for review by the community,” he said.
The Alfred Cove Action Group remained unconvinced by the CCC’s statement.
Spokesmen Clive Ross and David Maynier argued it found Mr Cahoon had declared an investment in the WPG but did little to clear him of a conflict of interest or show he did not benefit from the deal.
“Even if Mr Cahoon has not, because of a technicality, breached the legislation, he has knowingly prepared a report despite having a conflict of interest and has obtained a benefit,” they said.
A spokeswoman for the CCC said its statement related to all the allegations against Mr Cahoon.