Dodgy ALP ratbag sacked after corruption charges

The ALP has a cemented reputation for harbouring dodgy, corrupt ratbags. Another one has fallen by the wayside ahead of his appearance before the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Labor’s candidate for the seat of Bennelong has been sacked days before he is due to front the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The dumping of Jeff Salvestro-Martin, a Ryde councillor accused of accepting political favours from a local newspaper, is a setback for Kevin Rudd’s bid to clean up NSW Labor before the election.

Sussex Street bosses are now scrambling to find a candidate to contest Bennelong, held by Liberal John Alexander on a margin of 3.1 per cent.

NSW branch bosses told Mr Salvestro-Martin on Friday that he could not stand after Fairfax Media reports revealed he had been ordered to appear at the ICAC investigation into Ryde council to begin on Monday.

The ALP national executive has been asked to ratify his sacking when it meets at the weekend to consider Bennelong and other preselections, including Charlton and Kingsford Smith in NSW and Lalor and Hotham in Melbourne.

Fairfax revealed on Friday that Cr Salvestro-Martin attempted to¬†overturn a tender process¬†and direct Ryde council’s advertising budget to a local newspaper that was giving him favourable political coverage and a regular column, ”Just Ask Jeff”.

Things got worse for him when ICAC announced on Friday he would be forced to answer allegations he accepted undisclosed political donations Рunderstood to be gifted from The Weekly Times, a newspaper owned by Ryde businessman John Booth.

Mr Booth has already been called to the ICAC inquiry to answer claims he tried to bribe Liberal councillor Bill Pickering. It is alleged he offered favourable coverage for Mr Pickering if he supported the newspaper owner’s development application to expand 826 Victoria Road – the¬†Weekly Times’¬†offices.

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