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Commissioner fights back
Karl O'Callaghan has complained about the CCC. Picture: Michael Wilson, The West Australian

The Corruption and Crime Commission will itself be investigated over its handling of the credit card inquiry into Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan.

Veteran barrister Ron Davies confirmed yesterday he was preparing a submission to the CCC watchdog, acting Parliamentary Inspector Chris Zelestis, which will accuse the CCC of continuing an inquiry into Mr O'Callaghan without any justification.

It is the latest twist in the credit card saga, which reached a crescendo on Wednesday when a CCC report containing claims by WA Police executive director Greg Italiano that Mr O'Callaghan had lost his "ethical compass" were made public.

The allegations, contained in the second CCC report into the Police Commissioner in the past three months, have left the pair's working relationship in tatters.

But with Mr O'Callaghan cleared of misconduct in both reports and Mr Italiano suddenly taking leave over the affair, the Police Commissioner is now fighting back.

He has written to Mr Zelestis, engaged Mr Davies to act for him at any hearings and is raising questions about the timing of the CCC investigation, which began in November.

"You could quite rightly ask the question as to why now, why at this time, why both inquiries at the same time," he told Radio 6PR yesterday.

Mr Davies went further, telling _The West Australian _he will argue that the CCC credit card investigation was flawed from the start.

"I don't think that the continuation of the inquiry and the things the CCC went on with after that could ever be justified," he said.

"I just think that he's been treated unfairly and without consideration to the nature of his office."

He said he planned to bring damaging evidence about the CCC inquiry, which examined trips to Broome and Europe, to Mr Zelestis.

The CCC concluded Mr Italiano's view of the Police Commissioner's ethics and a so-called "pattern of behaviour" regarding credit card use could not be substantiated.

Mr Italiano was singled out by the report for failing to identify "any particular matter, transaction or series of transactions in support of his concerns".

Premier Colin Barnett said this week that Cabinet would consider renewing Mr O'Callaghan's contract, which expires on Wednesday.

He said advice from the Public Sector Commissioner meant there was nothing to prevent Mr O'Callaghan's reappointment.

But rumours continue to circulate about a major rift within the police executive because of the CCC reports. "Not everyone in this organisation is going to like the way I do my business, nor the decisions I make, and I entirely accept that," Mr O'Callaghan said.

The West Australian

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