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Rort accused claims unfair dismissal
The West Australian

A local government chief executive who allegedly accepted gifts from a private company he contracted has lodged a $1.5 million legal action against the council for unlawful dismissal.

A Corruption and Crime Commission report released yesterday found James Trail bought more than $1.2 million of software from a company without going to tender or seeking other quotes during his four-year term as chief executive at the Shire of Kalamunda and the four years before that when he was in the same role at the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

It is alleged that he he got gifts from CA Technology Pty Ltd, which trades as CAMMS, including tickets to international cricket matches, box seats to finals football and business-class airfares.

The CCC has called on the State Government to tighten legislation governing the receipt of gifts by public officers.

Mr Trail was sacked by the Shire of Kalamunda in December last year after an external audit found financial irregularities.

Three months ago, Mr Trail lodged legal action in the Supreme Court claiming wrongful dismissal, demanding the shire pay out his $250,000 annual salary for the term of his contract - $1.4 million, plus interest.

The CCC recommended that the Department of Local Government prosecute Mr Trail for failing to declare gifts and breaching the trust placed in him.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he would make a decision early next year.

According to the CCC report, Mr Trail travelled business-class to London in July 2010 to speak at a conference endorsing CAMMS.

It is alleged that during this trip, he got tickets to Test cricket, golf in Wales and Dubai and more than $2000 in travel allowances.

The CCC claims he did not disclose these gifts.

It is alleged that on another occasion he attended a conference in Canberra and had the Shire of Kalamunda pay for a ticket to Melbourne so he could attend a football match in a corporate box.