I had free sessions at massage parlour: surveyor
March 8, 2011
A building inspector at a Sydney council received free sexual favours from a local bathhouse in return for not reporting illegal services, the state’s corruption watchdog has heard.
A WILLOUGHBY COUNCIL building surveyor said yesterday he had accepted the services of a massage parlour after being invited to see for himself while checking a report a bona-fide, non-sex parlour in Chatswood had converted into a brothel.
Edward Karkowski said he had taken part in approving the construction of the Oriana Bath House in 2007-08, which had stipulated it was offering massage services for women only and there was to be no sex.
Appearing before the Independent Commission Against Corruption, under David Ipp, QC, which is inquiring into claims that he abused his position, Mr Karkowski said he had taken advantage of the services, for which he did not pay, for a year or more.
“I never threatened them” … Edward Karkowski outside the ICAC hearing yesterday. Photo: Ben Rushton
In answer to Kate Williams, counsel assisting the inquiry, he said he had had a relationship with one woman, Tina, and another called Anna, and if neither was available with some other woman.
He denied he knew he was not being charged for the services because of his position on the council. He agreed he could have reported the operation of the brothel but he considered his role was in buildings and safety, and not compliance.
Mr Karkowski is alleged to have formed relationships with developers, accepted meals at restaurants, accepted gifts, and to have helped people with privileged information, sometimes by sneaking into the council offices and photocopying documents.
He said yesterday he recalled paying for services at the bathhouse once, when he had been there with friends.
Then ICAC played an audio recording of a conversation between Mr Karkowski and a friend, Bill Geroulis, a real estate agent, on July 6 last year. When Mr Karkowski had left the bathhouse at 6.46pm and had spoken to Mr Geroulis by phone, Mr Geroulis had asked, referring to Tina: ”Did you give it to her?”
Mr Karkowski had replied: ”No, I didn’t, actually. It was f— um, a bit of 69 action was going on … it was good and I bloody, I bloody was – I was f— a bit – a bit on the overexcited side and didn’t even get a chance to do the rest.”
The surveyor agreed that while his shift ended at 4pm, he had booked up overtime for that day from 4pm to 10pm.
But he said his hours were flexible and sometimes he took time off because he had not had a lunch break.
Mr Ipp: ”You are not suggesting that time in brothels were lunch breaks?”
Mr Karkowski: ”I would not call it lunch. I would take it as time off.”
Mr Karkowski agreed that as a council officer he had been in a position of power. But, he said, ”I never threatened them”.
Mr Karkowski said he had also gone out with a developer, Sam Koura, on July 28 last year after he had delivered to him a privileged report. They had gone to Romeos, a massage parlour in Petersham.