Ex-Ipswich City Council Chief Exec & Wife Given Jail Time
Former Ipswich City Council chief executive Carl Wulff will spend the next 18 months in jail for pocketing $241,000 in corrupt payments.
His wife Sharon Oxenbridge, businessman Wayne Myers and contractor Claude Walker have also been jailed for their involvement in the kickback scheme.
The group was charged after a wide-ranging Crime and Corruption Commission investigation that also sparked charges against two former mayors of the southeast Queensland council.
Wulff accepted envelopes stuffed with cash, gifts and other corrupt payments made via a complex arrangement involving his three co-offenders.
Through Wulff and Oxenbridge's bogus company Bojangles Pty Ltd, the couple accepted payments for favourable treatment regarding council contracts.
After his company received a lucrative flood recovery contract in 2012, Walker paid Wulff $100,000 over two years and Oxenbridge $99,000.
"Walker, made the payments believing that they would allow him to continue to work for the council on favourable conditions," Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien said in sentencing remarks in the Brisbane District Court on Friday.
Similarly, Wulff received around $130,000 from Myers for his friend Wayne Francis Innes to continue receiving council contracts.
"Over a period of five months, Innes paid you Myers over $523,000. The money ultimately paid to Wulff was disseminated from those payments," Chief Judge O'Brien said.
Wulff pleaded guilty to two counts of official corruption and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He was handed a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence, suspended after 20 months.
Having been in custody since December, he will be eligible for release in August next year.
Myers, Oxenbridge and Walker all pleaded guilty to one charge of official corruption.
Oxenbridge and Walker were handed three-year sentences, suspended after nine months.
Myers' two-and-a-half-year sentence will be suspended after six months.
"You must be punished for what you did," Chief Justice O'Brien said.
"This was corruption going to the heart of government at the local level.
"General deterrence and the need for public denunciation for such conduct, in my assessment, is an important consideration in this case."