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Sex worker paid from Ravensthorpe Shire funds CCC says in damning report

The Welcome to Ravensthorpe sign. (Monique Preston)

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Ravensthorpe Shire’s dismissed Chief Executive Gavin Pollock stands accused of using Shire funds to hire a sex worker.

The Corruption and Crime Commission tabled a report in the WA Parliament exposing serious misconduct in local government involving a Chief Executive Officer abusing his power and influence to misuse public funds for personal benefit.

Mr Pollock used his position of authority and trust to register sex worker as Shire ‘supplier’

The report says for more than a year Mr Pollock used his position of authority and the trust placed in him as CEO to register a sex worker as a supplier to the Shire of Ravensthorpe.

The CCC said he created false invoices and generated payments totalling almost $55,000.

“The sole purpose of the scheme was for Mr Pollock to receive sexual services.”

“The sole purpose of the scheme was for Mr Pollock to receive sexual services,” the report says.

“Commission action prevented Mr Pollock from processing two further payments to the sex worker for $13,530.

“The scheme was all a sham. Mr Pollock acknowledged ‘I have to own it, wear it. I’m not ducking from that.’”

“I have to own it, wear it. I’m not ducking from that.”

The sex worker is referred to as “Ms E”.

The report says although Mr Pollock had been Ms E’s client for a number of years, the scheme in which she became a supplier to the Shire of Ravensthorpe began only in March 2020.

It says false invoices for “administrative and related services” were issued on her behalf.

Shire CEO used sex worker as “emotional support”

Mr Pollock told the Commission he set up the scheme so he could access “support services”, “emotional support”, and use Ms E as “a sounding board” at a time when he felt he was being undermined within the organisation.

The Commission has formed an opinion of serious misconduct and recommended that criminal charges be considered. 

It notes its opinion is not to be taken as an opinion or finding that Mr Pollock is guilty of a criminal or disciplinary offence.

The Commission’s investigation – code-named Operation Brass – commenced in July 2021.

In August, the Commission executed search warrants and seized electronic devices and records.

In early September, the Commission held private examinations of the sex worker.

Council voted so sack Mr Pollock earlier this month.

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