EXCLUSIVE: Explosive allegations involving listening devices and attempts to have Mosman Council ranger’s record the conversations of new Councillors without their knowledge have been referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
In documents given to ICAC and obtained by SmartHouse former Chief Ranger at Mosman Council Michael Seremetis has claimed that senior administration staff at the Council which saw several new Councillors swept into power recently following the local elections, demanded that he and other rangers breach the NSW Surveillance Devices Act when they were asked to “illegally” record conversations with the newly appointed Councillors.
Seremetis also claims that Mosman Council ran a quota system whereby rangers had to individually write 10 infringement tickets a day.
Emails between Council staff and Seremetis refer to the volume of penalty notices that the Council expected Rangers to write.
Seremetis also claims that he was advised by Mr Max Glyde the Director of Corporate Services at Mosman Council that he was not to recommend pay increases to Council Rangers during their “annual performance review due to a lack of penalty notices”.
Seremetis told SmartHouse that he was currently meeting with legal advisors and that was set to refer the matter to NSW Police.
“I want to work for Mosman Council but I will not engage in illegal actions, I want this Council investigated as there are several other issues that need to be investigated relating to Human Resources and their management of employees”.
In a letter to Seremetis on the 11th of October Mosman Council General Manager Viv May wrote ‘It would appear to me that your allegations of an instruction to staff to break the law “to record conversations with newly elected Councillors and including the Mayor is on the face of it an allegation that could tend to show corrupt conduct”.
May said in his letter that he had reported the corruption allegations made by Seremetis to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
He did not address the allegation that the salary of Council rangers was being tied to how many tickets they wrote or how much revenue they raised for the Council.
In a letter dated the 14th of November to newly elected Mayor Peter Abelson Seremetis claims that shortly after he bought the issues to the attention of Mosman Council Administration including General Manager Viv May he was “marched upstairs without being given any notice” and told that his services were no longer required, the reason given was “poor performance”.
He wrote in his letter to Abelson “I seek an investigation into Viv May and his abuse of power. I have never been spoken to in relation to any performance issues”.
He claims that he lodged a complaint about the actions of Max Glyde Director of Corporate Services at Mosman Council under the Public Disclosure Act of 1994 but before an investigation was concluded he was sacked.
Mr Jim Carter of the Australian Services Union an organisation that represents Council staff said that he is aware of the allegations and that the matter is currently being investigated by his Union.
The General Manager of Mosman Council Viv May said that he was “unable to comment” on this issue as it is currently being investigated by ICAC and an independent Ombudsman.
In other allegations Seremetis claims that during his employment with Mosman Council he was told that he was not allowed to meet Harold Scrubby the Chairman and CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia also singled out as a “no no” was meetings with Mosman police Sgt Mick Sweeney who is responsible for Traffic Services in the Harbourside Police Command.
Conflicts between the current Mosman administration and the newly appointed Councillors have been ongoing since the Council elections.
Former Mosman Councillor, Simon Menzies who failed in his bid to become Mayor is currently under investigation after he admitted that he illegally used a local rowing club database to try and win the job of Mayor, of Mosman.
Menzies has also been accused of illegally using other community databases in an effort to win the job of Mayor.
He is also under investigation by the Solicitor General’s Department following a complaint that he breached the NSW Election Act in the running of a lottery with local Mosman retailers.