Craig Maudsley leaves court following a hearing involving charges of misconduct in public office, which he intends to defend at trial.
Craig Maudsley leaves court following a hearing involving charges of misconduct in public office, which he intends to defend at trial.

Legends of League boss gives evidence in misconduct hearing

A LEGENDS of League "all stars" football match and dinner event in Ipswich will form part of the case in an official misconduct trial against two former Ipswich City Council officers.

Both ICC officers will defend the charges of misconduct in public office and will stand trial next year on a date yet to be fixed.

Former chief operating officer of works, parks and recreation Craig Maudsley was at Ipswich District Court on Friday as an observer in a brief hearing before Judge Dennis Lynch QC to allow defence legal representatives to cross-examine one witness.

Troy Anthony Byers, 49, a former rugby league player and the director of International Legends of League, was the only witness called, and subject of a short cross examination by Tony Glynn QC, defence barrister for Maudsley.

 

Legends of League director Troy Byers was called to give evidence in a hearing involving former council employees Craig Maudsley and Ben Hayward.
Legends of League director Troy Byers was called to give evidence in a hearing involving former council employees Craig Maudsley and Ben Hayward.

 

Craig Kelvin Maudsley, 56, from Yamanto is charged with misconduct in public office, doing an act or making an omission in abuse of authority between August 2, 2016 and July 20, 2017.

The charge arises from allegations he gave a sum of money to the International Legends of League on account of false invoices to dishonestly gain a benefit for Legends of League.

Maudsley is also charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission with misconduct in public office between September 14, 2016 and November 23, 2016.

The charge involves an allegation he used his influence to benefit a council contractor to the detriment of business Colmine Consulting.

The case of former council officer Ben Michael Hayward, 38, from Brassall, was mentioned as part of proceedings, and represented in court by barrister Stephen Kissick.

Hayward, the former executive officer to then-mayor Paul Pisasale, is charged with misconduct in relation to public office doing an act or making an omission in abuse of authority of office on dates between August 2, 2016 and July 20, 2017.

The charges follow on from the CCC's 'Operation Windage' investigation into the council.

Mr Glynn questioned Mr Byers about the June 2107 event, saying the Legends of League organiser had provided the Crime and Corruption Commission with a statement in August this year.

 

Craig Maudsley (left) leaves court following a hearing involving charges of misconduct in public office, which he intends to defend at trial.
Craig Maudsley (left) leaves court following a hearing involving charges of misconduct in public office, which he intends to defend at trial.

 

Mr Byers said it was "correct" that ICC had been a long-time supporter of the Legends of League, and this included giving varying amounts of money to ensure the success of events.

He said ICC support included advertising on promotional material and posters for the event, as well as on player jerseys, in social media and on radio.

Mr Byers agreed that such arrangements had been in place up to 2017.

"Definitely," Mr Byers said, when queried by Mr Glynn that the ICC arrangements were similar to that of other local governments where events were held by Legends of League.

Mr Byers confirmed the support given by the council did vary over the years.

Asked whether there had to be compliance at times with the Ipswich City Council community donations provisions, Mr Byers said he did not remember that but "it could have".

He said sponsorship agreements and procedures were all different in the different regions.

Mr Byers was shown invoices sent by International Legends of League for an event to ICC for $5000 on May 23, 2017. A second invoice was sent on May 26, 2017.

Mr Byers said this also involved corporate tickets to the game, and it was the council who chose who got the tickets to get inside the corporate area.

Mr Byers was shown a third invoice that he said was for tickets to a dinner at United Sports Club for $2750 each (including GST). The dinner was paid for by the council and it had been for the council to bring people of their choice including councillors, staff and guests.

Mr Kissick made one inquiry as to whether the tickets were to the corporate area, and if they required wristbands or other means of identification to enter.

Crown prosecutor Sam Bain sought clarification from Mr Byers what exactly the relevant invoices paid for, and whether when he first spoke to Maudsley about bringing the games to Ipswich a figure of $11,000 was sought.

Mr Byers said it was to be a sponsorship package to include advertising, logos, general tickets and corporate tickets to the event, and for some players to visit schools and talk about suicide.

Mr Byers said he was asked by Craig Maudsley to change the invoices into three separate ones.

Judge Lynch adjourned the matters to October 20 when a date would be set for the trial.