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Rebuke for Victoria's top cop -

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ELEANOR HALL: Leaked documents obtained by the ABC today show that Victoria's police corruption
watchdog rebuked the state's chief commissioner for police. The OPI criticised Simon Overland for
failing to act on evidence that former police union chief Paul Mullett bullied colleagues four
years ago.

Mr Mullett denies he ever bullied anyone and says he was just a forceful negotiator on behalf of
his members. But the State Opposition says this underlines the need for an independent
anticorruption commission in Victoria.

In Melbourne Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: The bullying allegations were first levelled against Paul Mullett over four years
ago when he was a senior sergeant and the head of Victoria's powerful police union. They were
initially investigated by senior police, then by WorkSafe, then by the state's ombudsman and more
recently by the Office of Police Integrity.

The OPI's director Michael Strong wrote to the chief commissioner of police Simon Overland last
November raising concerns about his handling of the case. In his letter, obtained by the ABC, Mr
Strong says a barrister who reviewed the bullying allegations found that the case against Paul
Mullett was overwhelming.

Mr Strong urges the chief commissioner to reconsider his original decision to make no adverse
finding on Paul Mullett's police personnel file. He says taking no action would "frustrate the
complainants" and leave them "with a legitimate sense of grievance". Simon Overland won't comment.

Paul Mullett says he recently received his certificate of service, recognising his time in the
force. Speaking on ABC Local Radio in Melbourne today, Paul Mullett denied allegations of bullying.

PAUL MULLETT: No a forcible negotiator at times and strident representative of my members, but no
not a bully.

ALISON CALDWELL: A perjury case against Paul Mullett and stemming from an OPI investigation
collapsed in court last year. Speaking to Jon Faine this morning, Paul Mullett repeated his calls
for a judicial investigation into the OPI.

PAUL MULLETT: I think what should occur and what the community should ask for is a full judicial
inquiry...

JON FAINE: But we've already been over that.

PAUL MULLETT: Tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money have been wasted into this
investigation - hundreds of thousands of dollars into a myth of a bullying allegation. The
community of Victoria are quite entitled now to support the view that there should be a full
judicial inquiry into serious allegations against the number of very high profile people.

ALISON CALDWELL: The Proust Review is examining Victoria's anticorruption bodies and is due to
report in May. The Opposition says the competing claims and counterclaims all belong in the hands
of an independent anticorruption commission.

Police spokesman Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: People are going to continue to wonder about these matters and how these matters have
made their way into the public arena and that will happen. Until such time as we have some sort of
independent means completely set apart from all the parties involved from the government of the day
that is capable of being able to get to the bottom of it all.

It's yet another instance which demonstrates why we do need an independent commission against crime
and corruption here in Victoria so that all the elements of these multilayered discussions and
arguments can be aired.

We can all have the opportunity of then seeing what has been said and done by whom to whom and
we're in a position then to have an independent entity make judgements and recommendations arising
out of all that and ultimately to the benefit of Victorians at large.

ALISON CALDWELL: The World Today understands Paul Mullett's days as a union negotiator are far from
over. He's currently representing firefighters in their enterprise bargaining negotiations with the
Brumby Government.

ELEANOR HALL: Alison Caldwell reporting.