No evidence of misconduct or involvement by City of Melville officer in wave park proposal Public Sector Commission rules

THE Public Sector Commission has advised City of Melville it has found no evidence of misconduct relating to City manager of health and lifestyle services Todd Cahoon and his involvement with Wave Park Group.

The announcement comes just hours before Melville council is slated to decide on the future of the proposed $25 million Alfred Cove surf facility.

Mr Cahoon was the officer responsible for a City lawn bowls strategy that suggested moving the Melville Bowling Club from the proposed site of the wave park, part of a larger plan to consolidate lawn bowls facilities in response to dwindling pennant participation.

He also owned shares in Wave Park Group until September 2016.

The City has steadfastly maintained Mr Cahoon played no part in its consideration of the surf park proposal, which arrived as an unsolicited bid on June 30 last year.

City chief executive Shayne Silcox said the Commission had assessed information provided voluntarily by the City, which was submitted following an internal review completed in response to allegations of misconduct.

The allegations stemmed largely from the Alfred Cove Action Group (ACAG), which formed out of opposition to the proposed surf facility last year.

“Not only did the City not find any misconduct, but the Commission has now also assessed the allegations and concluded they do not constitute minor misconduct,” Dr Silcox said.

“The Commission has advised it will take no further action in relation to the matter.

“One would now expect an apology from those who made, and continue to make, damaging accusations without any regard for due process, fairness and equity, particularly after the City had assured them an appropriate investigation had been conducted, and found no misconduct.

“As CEO I would hope the media and the community understand the personal impacts, stress and trauma that are caused when unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations are bandied around recklessly.

“This leads me to question why those making the allegations would broadcast them so widely without appropriate due process of confidentially, other than it would seem on the face of it, to discredit the City and its officers.”

ACAG spokesman David Maynier said allegations of misconduct were “well substantiated by documentary evidence”.

“We have met with Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey to show him the evidence that we have and he was free to inspect any of the documents,” he said.

“We have no idea what information Dr Silcox has provided to the Public Sector Commission since he has consistently failed to disclose any of the details of his own internal investigation to the public.”

Mr Maynier also confirmed ACAG had urged the Corruption and Crime Commission to launch an investigation into the City’s handling of the Wave Park Group proposal.