Former Griffith man accused of corruption

FORMER Griffith man Pasquale "Pat" Sergi has been implicated in a corruption scandal surrounding illegal donations to the state Liberal party.

The Sydney property developer told the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) he sought political donations for former state energy minister Chris Hartcher who has been accused of corruptly soliciting more than $400,000.

The four-week inquiry, codenamed Operation Spicer, is set to probe allegations that Mr Hartcher and two other state Liberal MPs, Chris Spence and Darren Webber "corruptly solicited, received and concealed payments from various sources'' in return for favours.

Mr Sergi told the commission on Monday he had "just introduced someone to Ray Carter", a former staff of Mr Hartcher's also under investigation for allegedly syphoning illegal donations.

Mr Sergi explained he arranged the meeting between Ray Carter, another Sydney property developer Angelo Maggiotto and Advanced Readymix Concrete manager Roy Sergi who he described as being "like a cousin".

Roy Sergi told the commission he made out a $2000 cheque to Mr Carter's company Micky Tech, but thought it was going to the Liberal party and so he saw no problems.

Property developers were banned from making political donations in 2009 by then-Labor premier Nathan Rees.

In 2010 a report by the Italian Anti-Mafia Commission named Pat Sergi as a money launderer for high-profile Griffith drug boss Robert Trimbole.

Mr Sergi's business dealings with Mr Trimbole were also examined in the 1979 Woodward Royal Commission into drug trafficking and the disappearance of anti-marijuana campaigner Donald Mackay.

Mr Sergi had close ties with another ICAC veteran, the controversial former Labor identity Joe Tripodi, who owned shares in Mr Sergi's development company which bought and sold government land.

Operation Spicer has already claimed the scalp of NSW Liberal MP Marie Ficarra who reportedly stood down after being implicated in the illegal donations scheme.

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