THE former boss of Racing Victoria has launched legal action against the sport’s integrity commissioner to quash a finding that he leaked sensitive details about a cobalt inquiry.
David Moodie wants his name cleared after what he claims was a flawed investigation set up to reach “pre-set conclusions”.
Racing integrity commissioner Sal Perna found in December that Mr Moodie had told friend and trainer Peter Moody of a cobalt probe into fellow trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh, potentially blowing the investigation. Mr Perna also ruled Mr Moodie had misled Racing Victoria’s Integrity Council over what he said to Mr Moody.
In a Supreme Court writ, Mr Moodie is seeking to have the findings overturned and an order stating Mr Perna failed to act fairly.
Mr Moodie, a prominent owner, accuses Mr Perna of unfairness and ignoring evidence he gave under oath.
Mr Moodie and adviser Paul Luntz fronted a Racing Victoria Board meeting on December 15 to discuss the report. He says that they told the board: “The Perna report was flawed in that it reached conclusions without supporting evidence, it omitted information, it ignored sworn testimony, it accepted hearsay unsworn evidence some of which was never put to me in preference to sworn testimony, and it appeared to have been written in a manner to reach pre-set conclusions.”
Mr Moodie said he agreed to leave his position “with dignity” after the board considered the report was flawed and no punishment was due.
The next day, Mr Perna released a press statement affirming his findings, made as a result of a long investigation that included interviews with more than 30 people.
He said that while Mr Moodie wasn’t the original source of the leak, he could have compromised the cobalt investigation.
Mr Moodie claims in court documents he never identified Mr O’Brien or Mr Kavanagh by name in any conversation with Mr Moody, and “there is absolutely no evidence or testimony that the investigation was in fact compromised in any way as a result of my conversation with Peter Moody”.
“This conclusion is a quantum leap from the passing on of an unsubstantiated rumour without evening mentioning the names O’Brien and Kavanagh,” he claims.
Mr Moodie alleges he told a directors-only session of the board of his talk with Mr Moody.
He further claims Mr Perna’s finding that there was no evidence of a formal disclosure was “inconsistent with my sworn testimony”.
Mr Perna declined to comment to the Sunday Herald Sun.