Former premier Mike Baird will be a witness at the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian’s dealings with her former boyfriend, disgraced MP Daryl Maguire.
Ms Berejiklian has rarely been seen since resigning on October 1 after the ICAC announced it was investigating whether she breached the public trust during her five-year relationship with Mr Maguire.
The watchdog is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian encouraged or allowed corrupt conduct by Mr Maguire and any role she had in multi-million dollar government grants to a gun club and conservatorium of music in his electorate.
Ms Berejiklian is not on a witness list released by the ICAC on Wednesday afternoon for next week’s hearing but her predecessor Mr Baird will appear.
Former premier Mike Baird will be a witness at the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian’s dealings with her former boyfriend, disgraced MP Daryl Maguire. Mr Baird and Ms Berejiklian are pictured
Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Trade and Industry and deputy leader of the Liberals in the Premier Dominic Perrotett’s new ministry is also listed to give evidence. Ms Berejiklian is pictured with her successor Mr Perrotett (left) and Mr Ayers
Ms Berejiklian has rarely been seen since resigning on October 1 after the ICAC announced it was investigating whether she breached the public trust during her relationship with Maguire. She is pictured arriving back at her office last week
Also listed is Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Trade and Industry and deputy leader of the Liberals in new Premier Dominic Perrotett’s ministry.
Mr Baird is set to give evidence next Wednesday before and after a number of public servants.
His onetime chief of staff Nigel Blunden will be called to give evidence, as will Director at the Office of Sport, Michael Toohey, and Paul Doorn, the CEO of Venues NSW.
Ms Berejiklian will not be represented at the hearing by the barrister who acted for her last year at the ICAC, Arthur Moses SC, after it was revealed they were now in a relationship.
The former premier’s office has previously confirmed Mr Moses would not act for his now partner, which legal sources said would be ‘a bad look’ as much as presenting any ethical problems.
‘The fact is because of the relationship there is no way in the real world that he could ever act for her,’ one Sydney lawyer said.
‘Just because of the optics it would be a shocker. It would just be a bad look.
‘There might be an ethical issue but it doesn’t even matter. It wouldn’t even get to first base. There’s no way that he would ever do it.’
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted she shared a private relationship with disgraced former colleague Daryl Maguire while he was in office. Secretly recorded phone conversations the pair had have been played at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (pictured)
Gladys Berejiklian departs after giving evidence at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption on October 12 last year
The ICAC is investigating whether Ms Berejiklian engaged in a ‘breach of public trust’ or encouraged corrupt behaviour during her relationship with Mr Maguire.
Witnesses will give evidence via audio-visual link wherever possible due to Covid-19.
Ms Berejiklian had refused to resign after her secret relationship with Mr Maguire was first revealed at an earlier ICAC hearing in October last year.
The then premier admitted she ‘stuffed up’ by secretly having a relationship with Mr Maguire from 2015 to August 2020.
‘Whilst I have made this mistake in my personal life, I intend to serve the people of New South Wales to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve always done. I’ve sacrificed my life to public office, and I’m proud of that,’ she said.
Ms Berejiklian said then she was ‘far from perfect’ but insisted she has ‘done nothing wrong’ and has not been compromised by her relationship with Mr Maguire, a divorced father-of two.
The former premier’s secret relationship was revealed on October 12 last year when tapped phone calls between her Mr Maguire (pictured together) were played at a corruption inquiry
Mr Maguire resigned in 2018 after a corruption inquiry heard evidence he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers. He is now facing a separate corruption inquiry, accused of using public office to improperly gain.
Ms Berejiklian said last year she was not aware of his alleged misconduct when they were dating.
‘I assumed he was doing the right thing. I had my trust in him, and obviously I know now that that trust was misplaced, and I accept that human failing on my part, and I accept it wholeheartedly,’ she said.
‘I had no reason at the time to imagine that he was doing anything wrong, because I trusted him, and I assumed that, if there was any interests to be declared, that he did that.’
The premier said she effectively ended the romance when she sacked Mr Maguire from the Liberal Party before he resigned from parliament.
‘The dynamics changed substantially and I was there to support him as a close friend,’ she said.
Mr Maguire is pictured carrying a firearm and smoking a cigarette at his property the day after Ms Berejiklian resigned as premier
An emotional Gladys Berejiklian (pictured on October 12 last year) had refused to resign after her secret relationship with a disgraced former MP who is facing a corruption investigation shocked Australia
Ms Berejiklian said she kept the relationship secret from all her family and friends because it was not ‘of sufficient status’ and she was not sure if it had a future.
She has previously described herself as a ‘very private’ person and said the exposure of the relationship was a ‘personal nightmare’.
The premier’s secret relationship was revealed a year ago when tapped phone calls between her Mr Maguire were played at a corruption inquiry.
The calls featuredMr Maguire using colourful language including swear words. He called her ‘babe’ and she called him her ‘numero uno’ – Spanish for number one.
Asked at the inquiry what she meant by ‘numero uno’, Ms Berejiklian said: ‘I think what I would have meant there is that in my personal life I placed importance on how I felt about him.’
During the calls, Mr Maguire made comments such as ‘they are sucking people’s d***s’ and ‘they can get f**ked’, but the onetime Girl Guide often simply replied to his remarks with ‘Mmm’.
In other private correspondence the two called each other ‘hawkiss’, an Armenian term of endearment.
Ms Berejiklian was the third Liberal premier in NSW to be brought down by the anti-corruption body her side of politics created.
Nick Greiner became its first victim in 1992 – just four years after he established the ICAC in a bid to uncover Labor scandals during Neville Wran’s decade in power.
While the Supreme Court later cleared him of scandalously offering a government job to former education minister Terry Meterell, the damage was done and the late John Fahey replaced him as premier.
Little more than two decades later, in 2014, Barry O’Farrell resigned over an undeclared $3,000 bottle of Grange Hermitage, bottled in the year of his birth – 1959.
He had received the gift in March 2011 in the week he won a landslide election victory that ended 16 years of Labor rule, following a series of scandals in Kristina Keneally’s government.
‘I stuffed up’: Gladys Berejiklian’s statement on secret relationship
Gladys Berejiklian made the following statement on October 12 last year after it was revealed she had been in a relationship with Daryl Maguire:
‘I have always made sure the public interest is first and foremost paramount in every single thing that I do.
The integrity of the role I have – the office that I hold – is the greatest privilege of my life. And whilst I have made this mistake in my personal life, I intend to serve the people of New South Wales to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve always done.
I’ve sacrificed my life to public office, and I’m proud of that. The position I hold is a privileged one. It is an honour to serve the people of the state. And I look forward to maintaining my focus to keep everybody safe, to keep jobs going during a very difficult time for the state.
But I want to state at the outset that, had I known then what I know now, clearly I would not have made those personal decisions that I did. I trusted someone that I’d known for a long time, and I feel really, really let down. I trusted him for a long time. We were colleagues for 15 years.
And I’m not going to take away from the fact that I made a mistake in my personal life, but I have to say that there is huge separation between a personal life and public office.
And I can’t stress enough that, every day that I’ve been in this job, I have held myself accountable to the highest standards, and I’ve held my colleagues to the highest standards.
And I say to all the colleagues, all the public servants, all the people that I’ve worked with – they know me, they know who I am, many of you standing here know me, know who I am, and I will continue to put the people of this state first and foremost in all of my activities. ‘