HE DID IT: Richard Dalla-Riva confirms VEXNEWS story that he spied on neighbours but insists it was justified

rdr450Victoria’s Manufacturing Minister Richard Dalla-Riva has finally admitted claims made by VEXNEWS two years ago and repeated in the Victorian Parliament this week that he used Police databases to spy on his neighbours.

He insists that this was justified because he was investigating letterbox bombings of his home in 1993. Today’s Aged newspaper reports that he has confirmed our initial report and – perhaps showing signs of strain – said he would be “vowing to push for an anti-corruption investigation into the Labor frontbencher (James Merlino)” who repeated some elements of the VEXNEWS story during this colourful week in state politics. A minister interfering in investigations of the yet to be established Independent Commission Against Corruption would probably be putting his job in serious jeopardy, the whole point of these bodies apparently being that they operate independently of ministerial whim. So he’d better watch that, and we understand RDR will be counselled against such outbursts by the Baillieu/Cafagna hierarchy this morning.

Leaving that aside, and there are questions about the timing of the spying that are unresolved, now that he has admitted our central claim, the obvious question arises how did we know?

sadieWhile we are obliged to protect source’s confidentiality what we can disclose for the first time is that Dalls-Riva’s wife, Sadie, apparently also in law enforcement, has boasted to her neighbours of the fact that this checking of the neighbourhood had occurred. While we won’t name our source or the identity of the neighbour, we remain in contact with the former and their recollections – when we checked this week – are unchanged.

We can also disclose that at the time we reported the story, we checked it with a number of Mr Dalla Riva’s parliamentary colleagues and while we haven’t kept notes from two years ago, one specifically confirmed that they’d heard this story before, another said Dalla Riva had discussed the sort of information cops could access and another said something to the effect of “that’d be right.”

Mr Dalla-Riva, like so many in law enforcement, no doubt did fine work where he put himself at risk for the common good. If crimes were committed against him by rogues he was pursuing, then it would be perfectly legitimate that they be investigated, in the normal way.

But many questions remain unanswered. Why, for example, was he personally investigating letter-bombs deployed against him and his family? VEXNEWS understands it is normal Police practice for officers to investigate offences against themselves or close family members. Perhaps an exception was made in this case.

On what authority was information disclosed in these checks disclosed to others? Was that a breach of the law or is it permissible to tell neighbours such things? Or is it – to use a word splashed around by him very often in the chamber – corruption?

The Opposition – which is to be commended for growing a pair and having a go this week – has rightly called for a corruption inquiry into this matter.

We hope the Office of Police Integrity or other responsible agency has a close look at the corruption claims. Whether the community standard is that such behaviour would demand the Minister’s departure is a different issue, it’s worth keeping in mind that this happened a long time ago, long before he was an elected official. Many in the Liberal party room think that Premier Baillieu would not hesitate to axe him after serious hostilities between him and Baillieu/David Davis following Dalla-Riva’s forced resignation from the shadow ministry, so he could be vulnerable there even if the issue would not normally justify his removal.

But either way, from the Minister’s own mouth, we have an admission and confirmation of the central claim made in a VEXNEWS story that no-one else could or did publish some two years ago.

We are first the worst.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “HE DID IT: Richard Dalla-Riva confirms VEXNEWS story that he spied on neighbours but insists it was justified

  1. Observer

    RD-R. Now LONG odds on and clear favourite to be the first Baillieu Minister to get the sack. Text messages to under aged girls, and all that stuff, adn now this stuff; a dead set liability to the Baillieu Government. Political dead meat.
    Observer.

  2. Anonymous

    Boring. If vex is going to spend the next four years crying into its collective keyboards, targeting lib minsters over supposed ‘crimes’ committed nearly 20 years ago and defending the mob we just gave the boot to, i am going to be forced to read the age…

  3. BJM

    The ‘boasting’ wife should have been more discreet with their neighbours. None the less, more interest in the previous governments dealings are far more important and a darn sight more interesting.

  4. Anon

    It seems the Vic ALP will be in Opposition for at least a decade… maybe two.

  5. Walter Plinge

    No big deal. A beat-up in fact. This happened in 1993? That’s staler than stale.

  6. kermit

    Merlino & Overland wont like next week

  7. anon

    This MP does not deserve to hold his position, firstly he sends ‘messages’ to teenage girls then this what a vile common grub he is.

  8. Anonymous

    RDR sends lewd and suggestive text messages to girls in his company and now uses police databases in a way the Gestapo would be proud. Has to be sacked.

  9. Rivers

    He has always been below our Party’s gene pool.

  10. ethnic branchstacker

    Richard is quite a personable sort of bloke, but he has a past. In fact, there are a couple of new Ministers who, with a bit of digging, could come unstuck. My bet is his seat in the red morgue will be safe as there are much weaker links in the chain.

  11. Dirty Donna

    Geoffrey are you still available for your brief ‘mentoring’ sessions?

  12. Frankie

    I wanted Donna to give me mentoring sessions, but she said no. Is there anyone else who wants to be my mentor – I could do with a guiding hand.

  13. Sotherby

    how the twat got to the front bench is of greater concern.

  14. wendy

    The same way you survived childbirth, Sotherby.

  15. Sotherby

    you must be happy the government didnt discontinue its test then wendy

  16. Wendy

    Yawn, sorry, was that you Sotherby? I was asleep at my highly paid public service job where I study organic vegetables and plat the downfall of creepy blokes.

    Right-e-o, that was your attempt at humour was it? My, my, you are thick as a brick, to quote Jethro Tull’s better album.

    Sotherby, what’s your definition of foreplay? You awake cuz?

  17. Giuseppe De Simone

    It seems to me that the Minister has nothing to fear from any properly constituted and fairly conducted investigation. At some time, the grubbiness of the smear campaign against him will come back to haunt those that have miscalculated. There are a few loose ends in the explanation but the basic thrust is believable. However, the Minister is well advised not to give it any more oxygen by providing a running public commentary and reply to a series of questions. He is prepared to answer to a proper investigation and so should the others who have taken this story out of context. It was the initial denial that made it a legitimate story for Vexnews, a well sourced story as it turns out, and a well founded concern in the absence of a proper explanation. Did I just imply Vexnews was responsible? Oops!

  18. conflict not resolved

    There is a clear conflict of interest here. It is hard if not totally unprofessional for sa member of tech Police force to investigate any allegation that directly involves them personally. The claims that he had accessed the restricted information as part of an investigation of letter box bombings in his street are a clear example of a conflict of interest. He should have lodged a formal complaint and requested that the department investigate independently of his involvement.

  19. In a previous post “Pot Stirrer” referred to allegations that RDR is a Freemason with “Who cares” (VEXNEWS-“FIRST WITH THE WORST”)

    1-How can the former Scrutiny of Government shadow honestly campaign for transparency and openness in Government, as a member of a “fraternity” that can hardly be described as transparent or open? Isn’t that why they call it a “secret organisation”? If it is NOT a secret organisation, then why has he not disclosed his membership? Is he not a proud member?

    2- Dalla Riva also rocks up to a group called “Christians in Parliament”, that includes prominent Feds Cory Bernadi and Kevin Andrews. And good on them. However I’m pretty sure most Christians (indeed most world religions) regard Masonry with suspicion and contempt. Maybe it’s to do with their quasi-occultic rituals?

    These are not the rantings of a conspiracy theorist loon, no more that Gerard Henderson saw fit query in The Age in 2002 the organisation’s “shadowy history” in Australian politics (noting its historical influence, prominent Prime Ministerial members etc) Seehttp://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/02/1030953434455.html

    Reasonable questions.

  20. James In Footscray

    Hi Vexnews

    Do you mean:

    … it is NOT normal Police practice for officers to investigate offences against themselves.

    Am confused!

    Cheers

    James

  21. Lowrain Woeful

    RDR,usually I do not find gray hair that exciting, but text me anyhoe and I will give comfort and a guiding hand with your problems.

  22. Anonymous

    Tell us more abour the 16 year old girls!

  23. Sotherby

    @Wendy: you ‘plat’ do you Wendy?, well done, is that your effort at being unable to spell in English? fuck off back to the park and dance with the wombats you disgusting douche bag.

  24. Nobby

    Since he’s a Minister with no legislation to oversee, it won’t alter a thing. In the IR Minister’s office their job is to give out to callers the number for the feds.

  25. Lowrain Woeful

    The IR Minister can also give out my telpehone number to any developers under 40 and I will provide individualised dedicated service on my new, shiny office desk after office hours between 5 and 8 PM.

  26. Boofa

    Wenchy don’t forget Percy needs a polish on Tuesday night I reckon about 9pm on ya oak desk in Chelt.

  27. RDR

    It such a lovely evening do any young teenage ladies require me to ‘drive’ them to their abode?

  28. Why is it that Laborites can never accept the electorates decision?

  29. Dal T Stomss

    dalla riva didn’t admit anything. he criticised the opposition for using parliamentary privilege to accuse him of doing something for which they have no evidence. how can you turn a story into the opposite of what actually happened? the libs definitely won this one and the labs made yet another mockery of ethical process. both of them – libs and labs – should get out of the playground and stop disrespecting us with this garbage.

  30. Lowrain Woeful

    Boofa, I am very tired of you. You are no longer useful to me, and I certainly do not need your Percy anymore. I am now looking for a ministerial Percy of an age I like. That means under 40, Boofa. So nick off now and stop pestering me.

  31. Boofa

    Well Wenchy you can take a hike to hell. Dirty Donna has far less nips and tucks than you and has not clocked up so many hard miles. But don’t ever forget if it wasn’t for me you’d still be empyting pee bottles and bed pans. The start of your parliamentarey career has been far less than startling, many of your own think you are nothing more than a one hit wonder.

  32. Clueless in Chelsea.

    Dirty Donna may not have as many nips and tucks as Wenchy,Boofa, but she is fast sinking in her new job.You may need to work with her at Pompei’s if she is to keep her job beyond 2014.

  33. Lowrain Woeful

    Any Ministers who want to come and try out my new couch in my new mpS’ office?

  34. Anonymous

    Very strange discussion on this site???

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