Hopeful failed to declare breach

A Cessnock councillor and aspiring member of parliament has apologised for failing to disclose his police service past includes misconduct findings after he ran a building recycling business while on sick leave with a bad back.

Allan McCudden said yesterday he had "never ever told a lie about why I left the police force", but he should have "openly declared" NSW Police Tribunal findings on his website along with statements about his period as a police constable.

"I do apologise I didn't openly declare it," he said.

Cr McCudden, an independent candidate for Cessnock, resigned from the service in January 1989 after the tribunal found departmental charges of disobedience and misconduct proven.

Tribunal Judge Wall found Cr McCudden "did not impress as a witness of truth" and was "forever on his guard to protect what he perceived to be his interests" after an internal police investigation including surveillance of his Kurri Used Building Supplies business in 1987.

The tribunal recommended that Cr McCudden be dismissed from the police service after evidence he drove a lorry and moved building supplies, including timber, while on extended sick leave for a bad back between June and November 1987.

The tribunal noted the bad back was incurred "when he entered a police vehicle".

Yesterday, Cr McCudden said the bad back started when he picked up a typewriter in a Hunter Region police station.

He agreed that the tribunal's findings that he worked while on sick leave with a bad back was "not a good look, I accept that", but said he was "always straight down the line" while a police officer.

"I never did the wrong thing," he said.

Judge Wall reserved particular criticism for Cr McCudden's response to questioning during an internal police investigation, saying he would have only recommended a $500 fine if the charge of running a business while a police officer was the only matter before him.

He found that Cr McCudden had "no real understanding or perception of the obligation cast on a member of the police force to exercise the strictest honesty and truthfulness in answering questions put to him by a senior officer".

Asked whether he expected disclosure of the tribunal findings to have an impact on his election chances, Cr McCudden said he didn't believe it would if he was honest about admitting it.

In January last year Cr McCudden and his company Quintaz were fined a total of more than $200,000 in the Land and Environment Court for failing to act when Cessnock City Council ordered him to clean up building material dumped at his Sawyers Gully property in 2009.

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