Nick Kaldas would ‘seriously consider’ becoming NSW police commissioner if asked Photo: Nic WalkerNick Kaldas says he would “seriously consider” becoming the next NSW police commissioner, should the job be offered to him by the state government.
The former NSW police deputy commissioner who resigned in March after 34 years on the force, was asked on ABC Radio National’s breakfast program if he would take the job after Andrew Scipione retires.
“I’ve always had a passion for serving NSW and I’ve absolutely had a passion for helping the men and women of NSW police,” he said.
“If called on I would have to seriously consider it. But I’m doing other things now and I’m heading in a different direction.”
“There would have to firstly be a request and we would look at what happens next”.
However, Mr Kaldas added: “I’m in a different space at the moment. I don’t really see that happening in the current environment.”
“Anything could happen in the next six or 12 months I guess,” he said. “I would give it very serious consideration if I was asked”.
A spokesman for Premier Mike Baird declined to comment.
When Mr Kaldas unexpectedly quit the force in March he said: “You reach a point in life where you realise there are other things you can do and there are more preferable places to be at various points in your life”.
He and other senior police have been waiting for the NSW Ombudsman to deliver the report of Operation Prospect, a marathon investigation into a police bugging operation, codenamed Mascot, which ran between 1999 and 2001.
Mascot used a corrupt policeman, codenamed M5, to target allegedly corrupt police and a journalist with a listening device.
Mr Kaldas was bugged by Mascot, of which his former fellow deputy commissioner Catherine Burn was team leader. A parliamentary inquiry recommended he and others receive a formal apology.
Fairfax Media revealed last year that the Ombudsman was considering seeking advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions about potential criminal charges against Mr Kaldas.
The article outlined an allegation that Mr Kaldas misled the office of then Ombudsman Bruce Barbour about the source of documents given to him about Mascot.
This prompted a furious response from Mr Kaldas who via his lawyers accused the Ombudsman of bias and claimed Prospect – which had already run for two years – was “invalidated and must be held again afresh”.
Three months earlier Mr Baird had announced that Mr Scipione, due to retire that September, had agreed to stay on for up to two years.
The Prospect report is due to be handed to the government by the end of this year.
Mr Kaldas, who has been working with the United Nations investigating chemical warfare in Syria, was recently appointed to a panel investigating murders attributed to an alleged British army agent who infiltrated the Provisional IRA, codenamed “Stakeknife”.
Mr Kaldas has previously led the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.