Thursday, 25 October 2012

A lesson in organised corruption

Members of City Tatts have rightly questioned how Tony Guilfoyle has been able to avoid the ongoing scrutiny that would be reasonably expected from the Chairman while pursuing his agenda of destroying the Club and selling out to private enterprise.

When Guilfoyle offically took over as CEO in February 2004 he had already assumed the majority of control in the Club for a number of years. He gradually expanded the responsibilities of his position as Assistant CEO. (His formula was to then retain the power and delegate the workload)

Now, as CEO, Guilfoyle wanted absolute power. To achieve this he knew he had to compromise those in the position of Chairman.


John Healy - Chairman No 1
When Guilfoyle became CEO John Healy was Chairman. Happily for Guilfoyle, Healy's position was already compromised. Healy was content to accept the occasional overseas trip, free meals, free parking and the $10,000 he was paid each year. The $10,000 was paid for supposedly "conducting gym classes". Other members conducted similar classes but only received free gym membership for their services.

Healy would dutifully present whatever Guilfoyle drafted for him at meetings and would sign off on the Guilfoyle-scripted "Chairman's Message" that appeared in the Club's Magazine. Healy was getting old and was easily manipulated by Guilfoyle.

John Kennedy - Chairman No 2
John Kennedy was the Committee's "next in line" under their succession plan for Chairman. When Guilfoyle became aware of the plan by John Kennedy and the other three trustees of the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund to implement a skim operation for their own benefit, he knew that if it went ahead he would have an automatic hold on Kennedy. In the middle of July 2004 Kennedy set up a bogus "promotion" company (Super Promoters Pty Ltd) to skim .615% off the assets of the BSF each year and then appointed Equity Trustees as trustee. For good measure Guilfoyle then merged the City Tattersalls Club Super Fund into the BSF (giving Kennedy an automatic benefit at the expense of the staff who were in the fund).

In 2008 Kennedy's bogus "promotion" company received $2 million from the fund but only spent $24,000 on Advertising and Promotion (a nice little earner).

The Member and Employer Representatives were never democratically elected and were always stooges from either senior management or the Club's Committee. Guilfoyle still retains a representative position to this day. Super Promoters is currently being investigated by ASIC and APRA.

Six months into his reign as CEO, with Healy and Kennedy in his pocket, Guilfoyle had no problem taking $200,000 from the Club without the permission of the Committee. Guilfoyle used this $200,000 to set up a business venture (Springs Resorts) with one of the Club's questionable consultants who has been paid in excess of $250,000 over the last few years (an obvious conflict of interest in itself).

When the $200,000 was brought to the attention of the Committee six years later (2010) it was covered up by Kennedy and current Chairman, Pat Campion. An investigation of this matter is currently under review by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

Guilfoyle's incompetence, corruption and bullying went unchallenged by Kennedy with evidence showing he even supported it. Time caught up with Kennedy. For the last six months of his Chairmanship he could not face his "life long" friends in the gym when they became aware of the super fund ripoff (some of them lost heavily). Kennedy did not stand for re-election in 2011 and has not been sighted in the Club since.

Pat Campion - Chairman No 3
Guilfoyle assessed Campion's attitude on the Committee to be similar to most of the other Committee members. That is, accept without notice and without question whatever Guilfoyle put forward, put your hand up when required and sit down to a free lunch.

In 2007 Guilfoyle had to look at Campion differently. Kennedy was being groomed to take over from Healy as Chairman with Campion being endorsed as the next Vice Chairman. 2007 was a testing year for Guilfoyle. Too many members were becoming aware of his obvious mismanagement. He manouvered rule changes to take away members rights. He instigated a fear campaign about the impact of the non-smoking legislation to justify spending $7 million on the "Alfresco Gaming Hole" he proposed to put through the middle of the Club. He also had to convince members to approve the purchase of 194 Pitt Street for $9.25 million when the market value was no more than $6 million. Campion was a solicitor. What if he started to take his position seriously now that he was identified as a future Chairman? Guilfoyle was worried that Campion would learn that due diligence was either never carried out or ignored, because the building could never provide members what they were told to approve the purchase. The Club had bought a virtual derelict building that they would never be able to afford to refurbish.

At the same time as members were being asked to approve the purchase (Nov 2007) Guilfoyle organised for the Club to donate $80,000 to an arm of a charity that was chaired by Campion's brother. Members were misled to to believe that this $80,000 went directly to St John Ambulance (who in 2007 had a turnover of $20m, a marketing expense of $4m and a profit of $8m - the same year CTC ran at a loss). It was never disclosed to members that the $80,000 was used to fund an eye clinic in Moree (the Campion family's hometown) and it involved Campion's brother.

Guilfoyle now had Campion well and truly on the hook. Campion was now a willing servant of Guilfoyle.

Campion failed to act when he became aware of the conflict of interest when Guilfoyle formed Springs Resorts with a consultant that has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Guilfoyle on behalf of the Club.

Campion failed to act when he became aware that Guilfoyle took $200,000 without the permission (or knowledge) of the then Committee in 2004.

Campion failed to act when he knew the $200,000 was a lump sum taken in 2004 and not the accumulation of travel and entertainment expenses that is being offset against accrued annual leave (the charade put up by Guilfoyle)

Campion was party to fabricated evidence in the Supreme Court action taken against the Club by a member.

Campion misled the recent AGM by informing members that there were no legal settlements in 2011.

Campion did not disclose to members the $200,000 taken by Guilfoyle and is implicated in the cover-up.

The danger for members is that Guilfoyle and Campion will fast-track the sale of the Club premises hoping that skeletons of corruption will get buried in the demolition.

The plan by Guilfoyle and Campion is to present themselves to members as "White Knights", the saviours of the Club with a proposal - the Club has no alternative but sell out to developers and/or hoteliers. Ironic seeing that they were the main players in orchestrating the Club's deliberate demise.

Save City Tatts Committee

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