Exclusive – Byford & Districts Country Club allegations

Exclusive – Byford & Districts Country Club allegations

Byford & Districts Country Club

The former chief of the award-winning Byford & Districts Country Club in Perth’s south-east has faced court this week over allegations that he defrauded the not-for-profit of thousands of dollars during his tenure.

Mark Robert O’Neill faced Armadale Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning after being charged with 28 counts of stealing as a servant, which is alleged to have occurred during his time as chief executive of the Byford & Districts Country Club.

Examiner Newspapers understands the alleged misconduct was uncovered during a review of financial processes by the club’s financial management committee and let to his dismissal on April 24.

A week later, the club’s board issued a statement to its members confirming that Mr O’Neill was no longer employed by the club and thanking him for the positive changes he had made following its relocation in 2017.

This week, the club confirmed that Mr O’Neill had attended a disciplinary meeting with board members where he was offered a right of procedural fairness and the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The meeting resulted in the board terminating his employment, effective immediately.

The matter was then referred to WA Police for further investigation.

Mr O’Neill, who has not yet entered a plea, is due to appear before Armadale Magistrates Court again on September 8.

Board chairperson Shana Smith said the club had endured a challenging couple of months, after having to close its doors in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

With the club now recovering, Mrs Smith extended thanks to its members and the broader community for its continued support

Just twelve months ago, the organisation took out Club of the Year at the WA Industry Awards for Excellence for its strong programs, administration, training and development and community initiatives.

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