News State Victoria News Corruption head quizzes former Vic premier

Corruption head quizzes former Vic premier

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Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog has criticised former premier Ted Baillieu for going public with a corruption complaint, especially when there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Mr Baillieu had asked the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) this year to examine the airing of secretly taped phone conversations.

A series of recordings, published by the Herald Sun, reportedly showed Mr Baillieu’s chief of staff Tony Nutt had promised to help a controversial former adviser to Deputy Premier Peter Ryan find a job.

Tristan Weston quit as adviser to Mr Ryan after the police watchdog found he was involved in a plot to bring down former police chief Simon Overland.

Mr Baillieu stepped down as leader shortly after the tapes were circulated.

But in a report to parliament on Tuesday, IBAC found there was no need to investigate.

“There was no evidence that a prescribed indictable offence might have been committed, nor for that matter was there evidence of any other wrongdoing,” the IBAC report states.

“No attempt had been made by the government to explain why the material was thought to be relevant to the carrying out of IBAC’s investigative functions.”

IBAC also urges Mr Baillieu and other leaders to no longer publicly reveal when they have referred matters to the anti-corruption body so potential investigations are not compromised.

The state government, however, has not responded to IBAC’s recommendation, the report says.