The Daily Telegraph
November 05, 2009


Charge former ferries boss Geoff Smith, ICAC recommends

By Rhys Hayes

DISGRACED Sydney Ferries chief Geoffrey Smith acted corruptly by racking up a staggering $237,102 bill on his taxpayer-funded credit card, it was found yesterday.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption recommended the state's prosecutors move to charge Mr Smith for misusing his corporate credit card after he wrongly used it for personal expenses including shopping, holidays and alcohol.

"He did so knowing he was not entitled to use the card to incur personal expenses and its use was restricted to Sydney Ferries business expenses," the ICAC report said.

It also said Rear Admiral Smith knowingly lied to Transport Minister David Campbell in a letter.

"The ICAC is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions with respect to the prosecution of Mr Smith for offences under the State Owned Corporations Act 1989 and for the common law offence of misconduct in public office," the report said.

Mr Smith was sacked for misconduct in May, three months after being stood down when it was found he put $237,000 in personal expenses on his corporate Visa card, including private school fees and yacht club memberships.

He has since sold his $1 million St Ives mansion to pay back part of the debt but still owes $107,507.

It also recommended the DPP consider prosecuting former Sydney Ferries chief financial officer Vincenzo Rossello after he gave evidence "he knew to be false or misleading" at ICAC's public inquiry.