Canterbury League club in cover-up lawsuit over indecent text scandal, author of affidavits revealed
Another club member has admitted to signing a pre-written affidavit by McIntyre at Coorey’s behest. “He called me and begged and begged me and in the end I did it,” said the member, who conceded what he signed was wrong.
When he was told that it was a criminal offense to sign an affidavit knowing the contents were not true, he contacted L&G to request that his affidavit be withdrawn. “It went to Gaming and 24 hours later my conscience got the better of me,” the man said.
Three women testified to the regulator about Coorey’s inappropriate behavior, including that on several occasions he “grabbed his crotch and fondled it while he stuck out his tongue and ran.” [it] around his lips”.
Following L&G’s investigation, in March 2021, Coorey was asked to “show reason” why no disciplinary action should be taken against him.
The legal decision-maker ILGA (Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority) gave Coorey the opportunity to comment.
Disgraced former Bulldogs boss McIntyre, who was re-elected to the league club’s board of directors in 2022 after a 20-year absence, stepped into action for his friend.
McIntyre was serving a two-year ban from holding a position in the NRL after it was discovered that he was the architect of the Bulldogs’ $1 million salary cap, resulting in a $500,000 fine and docking of 37 competition points a year 2002 led. “Clearly there was behavior aimed at gaining an unfair advantage over the other teams in the competition,” said then-NRL boss David Gallop of McIntyre’s plan to cheat the system.
Coorey, who presented jailed former Labor Secretary Eddie Obeid with a character reference expressing his “astonishment” that Obeid had been found guilty “knowing his personal qualities and character”, was during the salary cap with McIntyre on the football club’s board of directors.
McIntyre explained that initially Coorey wasn’t worried about the publicity over the text message “because he didn’t think anything was going to happen, but later on when licensing decided to do something about it … I said, ‘Dude, it would be good to say who sent it’.”
“A few months later he came up to me and said that one of his buddies confessed to him that he did it,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre, a retired attorney, confessed that he wrote most of the 18 affidavits on behalf of witnesses, including his wife. The template for such a declaration was received from the herald. “I’ve known George Corey for more than [insert number] years,” says the template. “I have never seen George Coorey make any comment or gesture of a sexual nature to any woman at the club, nor has anyone ever suggested to me that he has done so.”
The submission also suggested that the women had only complained as revenge for Coorey calling them about affairs with men in his inner circle. This claim is vehemently denied by the women.
Those contacted by the herald stood by their affidavits and claimed they wrote them of their own accord. The penalty for signing an affidavit knowing its contents is untrue is up to five years in prison.
Michael Barakat, a Commonwealth Bank employee, said he had no comment to make and the case was closed. Anthony Moujalli, Coorey’s brother-in-law, said he couldn’t speak as he was “about to have a procedure”.
Luke Brailey, who the women claimed earlier apologized to them for Coorey’s behavior, said they were “the biggest liars to ever breathe air.” Brailey said he wrote his own statement.
Keith Lotty, a lifetime member, said he didn’t recall his testimony, but he’d never seen Coorey disrespect women. Greg Swiderski, the club’s security chief, said he wrote his statement freely and of his own accord. “Much [the statements] are pretty generic, but … I didn’t write anything in there that I would retract,” he said.
In an affidavit written for him by McIntyre, Stanton, 62, admitted he sent the vulgar text message without Coorey’s knowledge.
When asked if he sent the message, Stanton said, “I’m not commenting,” and hung up.
“The girls had no one to support them but themselves,” McIntyre said while boasting about the number of statements that were filed on Coorey’s behalf.
Other people, not interviewed by L&G, said the women’s claims were true. “He said in front of me, ‘Take off your underwear and sit on my lap,'” said one female club member, “It was disgusting.”
One of the men who frequently sat at the club with Coorey and his friends said, “On numerous occasions I’ve heard him demean women.” He also saw Coorey asking women to sit on his lap or his friends’ laps to put.
McIntyre said he was a regular at the bar with Coorey and the alleged rough behavior “never happened.”
Numerous people said McIntyre wasn’t in the bar often on a Sunday night and when he was he was with his own friends while, as one observer put it, “George was around the TAB section with his own time wasters and fools hung around”.
In denying the allegations, ILGA said it relied “on an affidavit from Mr Stanton confirming that he was the author and sender” of the offending text message.
Last year, the women wrote to then-Races Secretary Kevin Anderson, complaining that they were “confused and shocked” that ILGA had accepted Stanton’s affidavit without question. “ILGA hasn’t asked us if we know Arthur Stanton and why would Arthur Stanton, someone we’ve never met or been able to identify in a crowd, send a sexual text message from someone else’s phone at 8am?”
ILGA replied on behalf of the Minister that the matter had been investigated and closed.
A spokesman for ILGA said there was “insufficient evidence” to declare Coorey “unfit and unfit” under the Registered Clubs Act.
These revelations will put pressure on L&G, which downsized its investigative unit in April last year. In March, the office received a number of complaints about Canterbury League Club’s board elections, in which Coorey was standing for re-election. They implied that Coorey used his food and drink allowance to buy votes from members.
The club were threatened with legal action for failing to turn over CCTV footage.
Asked, among other things, whether there was a possible conflict of interest in the fact that those responsible for handing over the footage had previously provided explanations for Coorey, Greg Pickering, CEO of the league club, said: “I cannot respond for legal reasons.”
The re-investigation into allegations of vote-rigging revealed flaws in the earlier investigation into Coorey. This included the acceptance by ILGA of so many remarkably similar statements; the fact that Stanton, the alleged author of the text message, was never interviewed; and failing to ask the women if they knew Stanton.
Investigators re-examined the matter, including conducting forensic examinations to determine if Stanton and Coorey were together when the text message was sent, but they were transferred to a different unit in an agency reorganization before any results were obtained.
The women, feeling let down by the system, want Coorey to be held accountable for the reputational damage he has caused them and their families.
“I can no longer go to the league club because of the lies that George Coorey spread,” said the woman who received the offensive text.
“I’m not letting this go,” said another.
Corey did not respond to calls.
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