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OPI report damns ministerial advisors -

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Two advisors to Victorian Police Minister Peter Ryan have resigned after a report by the police
watchdog accused them of plotting against former commissioner Simon Overland.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Victoria's Police Minister Peter Ryan is under intense pressure tonight
after two of his closest advisors were forced to resign because of a damning report by the police
watchdog.

The Office of Police Integrity found ministerial advisor Tristan Weston, assisted by parliamentary
secretary Bill Tilley, plotted to bring down the then chief commissioner Simon Overland.

Frances Bell reports from Melbourne.

FRANCES BELL, REPORTER: It's a tangled web of manipulation and influence involving government,
police and the media in Victoria and the Police Minister's office was right at the heart of it.

PETER RYAN, VICTORIAN POLICE MINISTER: I accept responsibility for the fact of having employed
Tristan Weston in my office.

I had absolutely no idea that he was undertaking the course of conduct which is revealed by this
report.

FRANCES BELL: The OPI says Peter Ryan's ministerial advisor Tristan Weston, a former police officer
and Liberal candidate, waged an energetic campaign to bring down the former chief commissioner
Simon Overland through damaging media leaks and a totally inappropriate relationship with Mr
Overland's former deputy and rival, Sir Ken Jones.

PETER RYAN: He went out on a folly of his own to do what he did. This has all the hallmarks of
Walter Mitty.

FRANCES BELL: After Sir Ken's resignation from the police force in May, Mr Weston sought to have it
withdrawn with the assistance of his friend, the parliamentary secretary for Police Bill Tilley and
the head of the Police Association, Greg Davies.

There are no specific findings against Mr Davies, but the OPI says the association crossed
boundaries in its involvement in the police leadership crisis.

GREG DAVIES, POLICE ASSOCIATION SECRETARY: It's not surprising that they've tried to smear us and
me personally, but of course there's nothing there, no indications of any wrongdoing.

FRANCES BELL: Mr Weston is accused of six counts of misconduct. Criminal charges are now being
considered.

TED BAILLIEU, VICTORIAN PREMIER: Given the OPI report, he is resigning as an employee of the
Government.

FRANCES BELL: Mr Weston denies any wrongdoing and says he'll "vigorously defend any legal action,"
describing the OPI investigation as "biased, highly subjective and legally flawed."

Bill Tilley has also resigned as parliamentary secretary and will move to the Government backbench.

And Sir Ken has broken his silence on the affair with a lengthy statement arguing his contact with
Mr Weston has been seriously misconstrued.

The OPI found no evidence that Peter Ryan condoned Mr Weston's actions and the minister maintains
he knew nothing of them.

DANIEL ANDREWS, VICTORIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Because he apparently knows nothing, and I ask: how
stupid does the Deputy Premier think Victorians are?

FRANCES BELL: Less than a year into the job, he's lost a chief commissioner, a deputy commissioner
and now parliamentary secretary and a ministerial advisor.

Frances Bell, Lateline.