Review ‘cleared’ Police Minister without legal advice

The internal review into the NSW Police decision not to pursue charges against Police Minister David Elliott for ­allegedly impersonating an officer made its decision to "clear" him without waiting for its own legal advice.

After police decided not to press charges over allegations Mr Elliott said he worked for the police during a road-rage incident with a P-plater last October, NSW Police launched an internal review.

 

Police Minister David Elliott. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
Police Minister David Elliott. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

 

The Daily Telegraph can reveal legal advice from the Police Prosecutions Command into the incident was provided on November 22 - more than a week after Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Elliott announced that he had been cleared of all charges on November 13.

The legal advice is understood to contain criticisms of Mr Elliott.

However the NSW government and police have refused to release it, stating the "document is privileged and should not be made public".

The legal advice was prepared on November 19 by Sergeant Mark Bruniges, ­reviewed by Police Prosecutions Command Operational Legal Advice Manager Chief Inspector Duane Carey the following day, and then ­reviewed by Assistant Commissioner Paul Pisanos on November 22.

The internal review found NSW Police's decision that no action was required was appropriate.

The internal police review has also not been made public.

 

Greens MLC David Shoebridge called for an ­independent investigation. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Greens MLC David Shoebridge called for an ­independent investigation. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

The teenager's father claimed the Police Minister chased his son through backstreets before grabbing his arm, which Mr Elliott has strongly denied.

Mr Elliott said in an interview with The Australian he had told the teen he "worked for the cops".

"He said, 'Show me your badge'," Mr Elliott said. "I said, 'I pay for the badges, I don't get one'."

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge called for an ­independent investigation into the decision not to lay charges.

At the time, Labor ­argued the review should have been conducted by interstate police.

The ­review was conducted by a police superintendent Mark Jones from North West Metropolitan Region Command. He has appeared alongside Mr Elliott at press conferences.

While the NSW government claimed Mr Elliott had been "cleared", in fact the NSW Police decided not to pursue charges.

Mr Elliott declined to respond to questions from The Daily Telegraph, which also asked the NSW Police why its internal review "cleared" Mr Elliott before waiting for its own legal advice to be provided and why the document had not been made public.

A NSW Police spokeswoman did not respond ­directly to the questions, ­instead a statement was ­issued saying the internal ­review had been finalised and information had been provided to NSW Parliament and scrutinised during Budget Estimates in March.

Originally published as Review 'cleared' Police Minister without legal advice


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