“I need to see you at the gym”

 

Jimmy Maroun doesn’t look like a bloke who spends a lot of time looking after his body in his home gym, or anywhere else. Described in the SMH on 21 July as having “a smoker’s cough, a gambling habit, and a fondness for parties”, he is the subject of interrogation at the ICAC for his propensity to arrange workouts in his home gym with his friends, former Liberal councillor at Canterbury Michael Hawatt and former Labor Councillor Pierre Azzi , who are being investigated by the ICAC.

We all know the disappointments of your body not quite responding as fast as you’d like to an exercise or fitness program, so we can sympathise with Mr Maroun, and we know people have invested heavily in home gyms only to find they haven’t had the results they were looking for and then wanted their money back, because they still look heavy-gutted and unhealthy.

But, as revealed at the ICAC, bank records show that anytime Mr Maroun texted the two former councillors “I need to see you at the gym”, his bank statements showed that he had withdrawn thousands of dollars of cash in the days prior to meeting his friends for a work out. And where the gym junkies’ bank records showed similar amounts of cash, in similar denominations, would be deposited into their bank accounts, days after the workouts.  Presumption of innocence and all that, of course, but uh oh …

The inquiry into the former Canterbury is a slowly unfolding multiple car crash from which it’s hard to avert your eyes. As a surprise bonus it’s already caught and brought down the member for Wagga Wagga, and who knows where else it could lead. After all, developers like Mr Maroun do work in other local government areas as well...

As further amusement, Mr Maroun was being interrogated by the ICAC counsel assisting and this transaction occurred:

Counsel:              I want to suggest to you that you’re trying to make out a state of ignorance which is very, very, very unlikely in your case...

Maroun:               a state of?

Counsel:              ignorance.

Maroun:               what do you mean by that?

Well, say no more...

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