A recently dismissed local government executive in Western Australia used shire funds to pay for the services of sex workers, WA's Corruption and Crime Commission has found.
The commission has tabled a report in state parliament related to the activities of former Shire of Ravensthorpe chief executive Gavin Pollock.
The commission said for more than a year, Mr Pollock used his position to register a sex worker as a supplier to the shire.
It said he created false invoices and generated payments for "administrative and related services" totalling almost $55,000.
"The sole purpose of the scheme was for Mr Pollock to receive sexual services," the commission said in a statement on Wednesday.
The commission formed an opinion of serious misconduct and recommended that criminal charges be considered at the same time noting that it made no finding that Mr Pollock was guilty of a criminal or disciplinary offence.
Its investigation began in July 2021 and in August it executed search warrants and seized electronic devices and records.
In early September, it held private examinations of the sex worker, identified only as Ms E, and Mr Pollock.
"The explanation Mr Pollock gave the commission for setting up the scheme with Ms E was so he could access support services, emotional support and use her as a sounding board at a time when he felt he was being undermined within the organisation," the commission said.
"The scheme was all a sham.
"The commission does not accept that the principal purpose was emotional support or to use as a sounding board and advice.
"The fund was used to not only pay Ms E but to pay other sex workers as well. Mr Pollock well knew he would never be authorised to expend Ravensthorpe funds this way."
On September 13, the Shire of Ravensthorpe, in WA's southern goldfields, terminated Mr Pollock's position on the basis of information provided by the Corruption and Crime Commission.
It thanked him for his services over the past two and a half years but said no further comment would be made while the commission's investigation continued.
Australian Associated Press