IBAC Insights (newsletter)

Investigations, determinations and prosecutions update

Prosecutions arising from IBAC investigations are an important mechanism for exposing public sector corruption and police misconduct. They highlight the impact and consequences for those involved, which can include jail terms, confiscation of assets, fines and community corrections orders. Shining a light on corruption and misconduct also helps public sector agencies and police strengthen their practices to prevent it.

This is a summary of IBAC statements about some of our operations and prosecutions from December 2021 to March 2022. For more detail, please see our media releases, or follow @ibacVic on Twitter for our latest announcements.

IBAC overseeing investigation of two officers suspended following assault allegations

On 7 February 2022, IBAC announced that it will actively oversight a Victoria Police investigation into assault allegations which has resulted in the suspension of two senior constables from Transit and Public Safety Command.

Victoria Police notified IBAC when a Professional Standards Command (PSC) investigation was launched after a 58-year-old man was injured during an arrest in Narre Warren South shortly before 1:30 am on Friday, 4 February 2022.

The Narre Warren South man was taken to hospital for treatment and has since been released.

The two male officers, aged 34 and 45, were both suspended from duty on 7 February.


Operation Ord

The brother of jailed Department of Education and Training (DET) Director, Nino Napoli, was sentenced to a Community Corrections Order on 27 January following IBAC’s Operation Ord.

Mr Robert Napoli was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to a Community Corrections Order for a period of three years, including a condition of 300 hours of community work to be performed.

Mr Napoli had entered a guilty plea in July 2021 to one charge of conspiracy to defraud.

His Honour Judge Georgiou noted Mr Robert Napoli willingly and knowingly engaged in the fraud, though he was not the principal offender, nor a public officer.  He also noted the offending as long running and deliberately structured to avoid detection.

IBAC's Operation Ord was a major investigation into allegations of corrupt conduct by senior officers of DET, in connection with the use of ‘banker schools’ and related activities.


Senior Constable charged following Victoria Police investigation overseen by IBAC

Victoria Police charged a senior constable with recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and common law assault following an investigation by Victoria Police into an alleged assault on a member of the public. IBAC provided active oversight of Victoria Police's investigation into this matter to ensure that it was conducted thoroughly and impartially.

The incident took place on 22 September 2021 at Flinders Street railway station. 


Operation Merrica

A former Department of Education and Training (DET) staff member and a former Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) staff member pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office following an IBAC investigation.

IBAC's Operation Merrica investigated allegations of serious corruption involving a provider of quantity surveying services, and contracts issues by the DET and VSBA.

On 16 December 2021 in Melbourne's Magistrate's Court, former DET and VSBA staffer Andre Punt pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in public office. Former DET staffer Lia Friso pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in public office.

Mr Punt was fined $20,000 and sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order which included a condition that he complete 200 hours of community work.

Ms Friso was sentenced to a $10,000 fine without conviction. 


Operation Dawson

IBAC tabled a special report in Parliament on 16 December 2021 on Operation Dawson, an IBAC investigation that found former Victoria Police Superintendent Paul Rosenblum misused his position to involve himself in police investigations into allegations of historical sexual offences that involved associates of his church.

Mr Rosenblum was found to have accessed and disclosed police information to people associated with or involved in the investigation, without authorisation. He was also found to have drafted a letter, intended to be signed by an alleged victim of a sexual offence, requesting Victoria Police take no further action with its investigation of the offence.