The state's corruption watchdog has revealed disgraced former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire could be prosecuted for providing misleading evidence during an inquiry that ultimately ended his political career.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Monday released the report into its investigation into the conduct of councillors of the former Canterbury City Council, which was codenamed Operation Dasha.
Operation Dasha was not set up to investigate Mr Maguire directly, but he was caught on intercepted phone calls speaking with Canterbury councillors who had been targeted by ICAC.
Mr Maguire resigned from Parliament in August 2018, more than three weeks after he first appeared at an ICAC hearing in Sydney.
ICAC questioned Mr Maguire over him telling a councillor that his "mega big" client with "mega money" would buy projects with planning approval and he wanted a 3 per cent dividend.
In its report, ICAC said it seeks the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as to whether any prosecution should be commenced against Mr Maguire.
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The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and is responsible for all prosecutions.
"The Commission has considered whether the advice of the DPP should be sought with respect of the prosecution of Mr Maguire for criminal offences under [section] 87 of the ICAC Act of giving false or misleading evidence in a public inquiry on 13 July 2018," the report said.
ICAC said it seeks advice in relation to Mr Maguire's denial that he approached former Canterbury councillor Michael Hawatt with a view of making money out of a business in 2016.
It also seeks the DPP's advice regarding Mr Maguire's denial that he approached Mr Hawatt on behalf of a company because there was anything potentially in it for him.
ICAC said Mr Hawatt attempted, with Mr Maguire, to obtain a commission fee through the sale of a site by making introductions to another possible purchaser, Country Garden Australia Pty Ltd, in mid-2016.
At the time, Mr Maguire was a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, and had represented Wagga for more than 15 years.
The ICAC report said, in 2016, Mr Maguire knew that Mr Hawatt was a councillor at the council, having had some dealings with him in 2014 and 2015 over issues including council amalgamations.
"In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Maguire initially denied that he had ever attempted to do business with Mr Hawatt or that Mr Hawatt had ever attempted to do business with him," it said.
"He denied, in 2016, approaching Mr Hawatt with a view to making money out of a business.
"Mr Maguire also told the Commission that he did look for potential development opportunities for Country Garden Australia, but this was only because he had a friend who worked there."
ICAC said this evidence was "not truthful".
In making its determination, ICAC said it had taken into account all the circumstances of Mr Magurie's evidence.
That evidence included Mr Maguire being asked clearly about his relationship with Mr Hawatt, during which he denied that it was in his contemplation that he might be involved in making money out of a sale of properties to Country Garden Australia.
Mr Maguire also denied he personally approached Mr Hawatt with a view to making money out of a business in 2016 and rejected that it was his business to scout for properties that Country Garden Australia could acquire and develop.
"After further questioning, Counsel Assisting played a number of lawfully intercepted telephone calls, which clearly exposed that Mr Maguire's denials were not truthful," ICAC said.
"His subsequent answers reveal that he accepted this.
"Mr Maguire's counsel did not seek to ask any questions at the public inquiry; no questions were asked clarifying or explaining what was ultimately an admission by Mr Maguire of this conduct contrary to his initial denials.
"It was submitted by counsel for Mr Maguire that the evidence of Mr Maguire would not be false or misleading in a material particular. This submission is rejected."
ICAC said, given the "quantity of admissible evidence", it was of the opinion that the advice of the DPP be sought with respect to prosecuting Mr Maguire for two offences of giving false or misleading evidence at the public inquiry.
ICAC has also sought legal advice in relation to former members of Canterbury City Council.
A separate ICAC probe, Operation Keppel, has been set up to investigate allegations Mr Maguire breached public trust and used parliamentary resources for personal gain while Member for Wagga between 2012 and August 2018.
Operation Keppel held public hearings late last year and the investigation is ongoing.