Former Wagga council general manager Alan Eldridge has revealed that the NSW corruption watchdog carried out a "raid" on his family's businesses in late 2019.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) "raid" was revealed as part of Mr Eldridge giving evidence before the NSW Supreme Court on Monday morning as part of his unfair dismissal lawsuit against the council.
Robert Goot, senior counsel for the council, asked Mr Eldridge on Monday at the Supreme Court when his son Joshua had left Wagga to live in Esperance in Western Australia.
"I'd only be guessing but it was shortly after ICAC raided our businesses. It was shortly after ICAC raided the businesses he was in," Mr Eldridge replied.
"It was in November/December 2019. It is safe to say he wasn't here in 2020."
The timing of the alleged raid lines up with ICAC's investigation of former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire, which took place prior to public hearings in September and October 2020.
Joshua Eldridge's planned housing estate on Inglewood Road at Gumly is central to the council's defence that Alan Eldridge failed to declare a conflict of interest in regards to his son's involvement in a development application.
The proposed development site was subject to an application for rezoning from farmland to housing.
Mr Maguire triggered an investigation into his own affairs after appearing at a separate ICAC hearing into Canterbury councillors in July 2018.
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Ms Wang testified that she tried to find "Alan Eldridge" or "whichever Eldridge was available at the time" when she travelled to Wagga in October 2018, but found the Eldridge Group's office was closed.
Ms Wang admitted she "attended near their office with a view to encouraging one or more of the people associated with the Eldridge Group to lie to the Commission (ICAC)" and that they "they shouldn't mention the cash payments" of up to $80,000 that she paid the company as a "training fee" for the visa applicants.
Both Joshua and Alan Eldridge have given no public testimony at ICAC or at the Supreme Court about the nature of any dealings they might have had with Ms Wang or Mr Maguire and they are not accused of any wrongdoing.
Mr Eldridge did have legal representation present during ICAC's public hearings into allegations against Mr Maguire in September and October 2020.
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