Deputy NSW Police Commissioner Catherine Burn has officially thrown her hat into the ring for the state’s top police job, saying she’s been “vindicated” over a police bugging scandal.
“I would regard it as a great honour and a duty to continue to build on the outstanding progress we have made in recent times by serving the community of NSW as their Police Commissioner,” she said in an official statement.
“But that is for others to decide.”
Her confirmation on Sunday comes one week before the February 26 deadline to apply for outgoing Commissioner Andrew Scipione’s position.
“Under his leadership, there have been significant reductions in serious crime and the public’s confidence in the integrity of the NSW police force has never been higher,” Ms Burn, who has served 33 years in the force, said.
Mr Scipione has brought his retirement forward from July and will step down in early April.
Ms Burn told News Corp Australia she had been “vindicated” over the police bugging scandal and should not be punished for “mistakes” made 18 years ago during an internal affairs operation.
A NSW Ombudsman’s report that found Ms Burn engaged in “unlawful conduct” when she was supervising the management of an informant who breached bail conditions.
She was also found to have engaged in “unreasonable conduct” by pursuing an investigation despite allegations being inaccurate or misrepresented.
“Crucially, the Ombudsman report found that I never acted illegally, I never acted unethically, I never did anything that was deliberate or intentionally wrong and I never had malice against anyone,” Ms Burn told News Corp.
The position for the top job is open to national contenders however, earlier this month, Ms Burn’s rival and former NSW deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas said he was “considering applying” too.
Mr Kaldas also had adverse findings made against him in the Ombudsman’s report over alleged accessing of material and alleged false evidence.
He has the backing of the opposition and the Greens, with NSW Labor leader Luke Foley labelling Mr Kaldas the “the finest police officer of his generation”.
Applications will be assessed by an independent panel of five before going to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Police Minister Troy Grant and cabinet.