ICAC handed down its report today after an almost three-year investigation, including a public inquiry in 2021, into the corruption claims.
“The Commission found that Mr Sidoti’s conduct towards the councillors involved the use of pressure and threats to try to interfere with the impartial exercise of their official functions, to further his family property interests,” ICAC said in a statement.
“It was contrary to his public duty to always put the public interest before his family property interests and involved a serious attempt to interfere with the independence and integrity of the exercise by other officials of their official functions.
“The Commission also found that when the councillors refused to comply with his desires to act in favour of his representations, he withdrew his endorsement for those who were contending the 2017 council election.
“The outcomes that Mr Sidoti wanted those councillors to deliver were entirely directed to his private interest in increasing the development potential of his family’s growing number of properties in and around the town centre.”
ICAC is now seeking the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any criminal prosecution should be pursued.
“The Commission is of the opinion that consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP with respect to the prosecution of Mr Sidoti for the offence of misconduct in public office,” the statement said.
Fifteen recommendations have also been made following the investigation aiming to stamp out lobbying and conflicts of interest.
Sidoti stood aside as a minister in Gladys Berejiklian’s government in the wake of the corruption investigation in March 2021.
He now sits on the crossbench.