News

Liberals want former deputy police commissioner in key inner west seat

The Liberal Party has asked the former NSW deputy police commissioner, Nick Kaldas, to run as a candidate in the marginal seat of Strathfield.

The Liberal Party has asked the former NSW deputy police commissioner, Nick Kaldas, to run as a candidate in the marginal seat of Strathfield.

Party powerbroker, Joe Tannous, confirmed that he had approached Mr Kaldas, who is working in the Middle East for the UN, to contest Strathfield, which is held by Labor's Jodi McKay.

"As the Strathfield conference president, I have asked Nick Kaldas to consider standing for the Liberals in Strathfield because I think he could win it," Mr Tannous said.

"He is a principled man and a man of integrity and would be representative of the diverse electorate that Strathfield is."

Mr Kaldas resigned in March 2016, after 34 years in the police force. He was one of several applicants last year for the top job after commissioner Andrew Scipione stepped down. Mick Fuller won the job.

The decorated police officer was also embroiled in a long-running police bugging inquiry.

The state government asked the Ombudsman in October 2012 to look into allegations of police bugging by the Special Crime and Internal Affairs (SCIA) branch in an investigation known as Task Force Mascot.

Mascot, established in 1999, saw listening devices and telephone intercepts widely used to listen to the private conversations of more than 100 police officers.

Mr Kaldas was among the officers targeted in the operation. A parliamentary inquiry subsequently recommended he and others receive a formal apology.

He was accused of lying under oath during hearings by the NSW Ombudsman into whether or not he and other police officers were illegally bugged and, in December 2016, he was referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for potential charges.

But the DPP did not proceed with any charges.

Ms McKay, a former Labor minister, won Strathfield in 2015 after losing her Newcastle seat in 2011. She beat one-term Liberal Charles Casuscelli.

Mr Kaldas was contacted for comment. It is understood he is overseas.

May 15, 2018