Jail term for Perth worker
A former City of Perth employee has been handed a 22-month jail term for corruption and bribery.
Brett Edward Kenny had to be extradited after being arrested at a Canberra brothel and brought back to face charges laid over three years ago after a Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) inquiry.
Mr Kenny, a facilities officer, was found to have directed electrical work at council properties to his friend 73-year-old Hervey Alan Harms’ electrical contracting business.
Mr Kenny had the ability to authorise contracts worth up to $5,000. The court heard he encouraged Mr Harms to submit multiple work sheets on individual jobs so that the amounts would not breach his threshold.
Mr Kenny awarded $349,647 worth of contracts to Mr Harms' company over a 15-month period.
Mr Harms gave Mr Kenny money to pay off $24,331.75 in credit card debt and cover a vehicle registration fee.
Mr Kenny was also found to have tried to bribe an apprentice in the business, saying he could send $5,000 of work each month to him in exchange for $1,000 monthly payments.
Mr Harms received a 21-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty in March.
In sentencing Mr Kenny, Judge Gillian Braddock said he had made a “significant” breach of trust.
“Each of these offences … demonstrate a significant degree of dishonest conduct,” Judge Braddock said.
“This is an incredible departure from your prior good character.
“It would appear you were motivated by the friendship you had found with [Mr Harms].”
Defence lawyer Oliver Paxman told the court Mr Kenny (his client) was motivated by sympathy for Mr Harms, and was working in a “toxic” workplace culture affected by “factionalism” at the City of Perth.
At the time of the offending, the court heard Mr Kenny had been passed over for a promotion, while Mr Harms had lost his previous position as a preferred electrical contractor at the City of Perth.
“They felt a genuine sense of grievance that they had been wronged,” Mr Paxman said.