The disgraced former president of RSL NSW will be investigated by police following a public inquiry into the organisation.
Armidale resident Don Rowe admitted to using the charity’s money for his own purposes during last year’s public inquiry led by former NSW Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin SC.
In her final report, released on Monday, she recommended the state government ‘‘refer this report and all evidence relating to Mr Rowe’s expenses, his resignation and its aftermath gathered in the inquiry to NSW Police’’.
The state’s Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean later confirmed Mr Rowe’s ‘‘disgraceful behaviour’’ has been referred to the police.
‘Justice Bergin has made the recommendation that with all the evidence she’s collected throughout the process, it will support police in their efforts to throw the book at Mr Rowe.NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean
‘‘Justice Bergin has made the recommendation that with all the evidence she’s collected throughout the process, it will support police in their efforts to throw the book at Mr Rowe,’’ Mr Kean told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
‘‘The report details the shameful and disgraceful behaviour of the former president Don Rowe and the culture which allowed him to get away with it.’’
The report also recommends 13 others be referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Charities and Not-for- profits Commission (ACNC) for their role in covering up Mr Rowe’s misconduct.
Eight former directors of RSL’s aged-care branch LifeCare, including Mr Rowe, and the current chief executive officer, have also been recommended to be referred to ASIC and the ACNC for their conduct as directors of RSL LifeCare.
Ahead of the inquiry’s hearings, new RSL NSW president and the prime minister’s son-in-law, James Brown announced all sub-branches of the charity would stop all fundraising activities until further notice.
He confirmed on Monday that the fundraising suspension will continue until at least November this year.
‘‘We hope in time once we have our systems fixed up in the back office and head office, we will be able to get back to fundraising hopefully by November 11 - Poppy Day,’’ Mr Brown told reporters in Sydney.
He said the RSL, for the first time, would fundraise for a different charity on Anzac Day.
‘‘We will be doing something new for the RSL ... Our 40,000 members will be raising money for the 2018 Invictus Games,’’ Mr Brown said.