FORMER Perth councillor Jim Adamos has had fraud charges stemming from expense reimbursements dropped with “no explanation”.
Shortly after the Inquiry into the City of Perth report was released, police alleged Mr Adamos set up “a sham lease at a property in East Perth” which enabled otherwise ineligible voters to cast a ballot.
He also faced charges of making “false claims for allowances between September 2015 and March 2017”.
Mr Adamos told the inquiry hearings he had claimed those expenses, but said “the council should have knocked it back” if his reimbursements were against the rules. The expenses included paying for his children’s clothes and family dry cleaning, and those relating to the charges totalled $630.
The sham lease charge, which was also levelled against his brother and sister-in-law, were dropped late December.
Prosecutors announced a decision to drop the fraud charges this week.
“On the final day, the charges are dropped. No explanation whatsoever,” Mr Adamos told 6PR
“The only thing I can think of was perhaps there’s not enough evidence to prosecute it further.
“Perth police should have considered what evidence did they have before they actually charged me, before they approached my home in bulletproof vets ready to handcuff me… it’s been devastating, I’ve had a heart attack, I’ve lost jobs, I’ve lost friends, I spent eight days in a mental ward at Royal Perth Hospital, its impact has been extraordinarily significant.”
He said given the “$7.4 million” cost of the inquiry, “I think the City of Perth, the current council, should be saying ‘well we’ve spent that amount of money, we’re committed to pay that, but yet there’s been no smoking gun, nobody’s been charged, nothing’s occurred out of all of this’. I haven’t heard any more other than myself being charged, and those charges being dropped.”
His use of the council dining room and dining at city restaurants, which totalled a bill of $20,000, were criticised by the inquiry but weren’t part of the case.
The council’s since tightened up its rules around reimbursement, requiring staff to reject any expense claims without required documentation. Even so, a mid-2020 internal audit found five out of 40 sample expense vouchers weren’t properly handled, either missing signatures or receipts, or not having been approved by the right manager.
by DAVID BELL