The author of Hawthorn’s review into cultural safety has categorically denied allegations of fraud relating to an organisation where he once worked.
Phil Egan’s review helped lead to the AFL’s investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards several Hawthorn First Nations players and their families.
Egan, now the managing director of consulting firm Binmada, was previously a manager at Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative in Robinvale, which is now under investigation over a number of allegations of fraud.
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McLachlan confirms umpire axing | 02:32
“I categorically deny that I have stolen from the Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative (MVAC) in any way whatsoever,” Egan wrote in a statement released on Thursday.
“At all times I have acted with honesty, integrity and in the best interests of the MVAC.”
The AFL’s investigation – which it has appointed an independent panel to conduct – centres on allegations of racism at Hawthorn between 2008 and 2016.
Egan’s report has provided a foundation for the investigation to occur.
The former Richmond and Melbourne player said on Thursday the investigation should continue despite the allegations.
“Regardless of these slurs against my name, I am extremely confident that this dog whistling will in no way diminish or discredit the entirely separate and independent investigation commissioned by the AFL and led by Mr Bernard Quinn, KC, and which I have no involvement,” he wrote.
“To try to dismantle that process by destroying my reputation will, I suspect, be as futile as it is outrageous.”
Outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said last month he would remain in the role longer than initially planned as a result of the investigation.
“The timeline is, I’m leaving, but I think everyone understands there are a few things going on that I feel it’s my responsibility to be settled down enough and on an even footing when I leave,” McLachlan said at Friday’s Magic Round announcement.
“One day I’ll just disappear … I know everyone loves dates and times but I’m trying not to buy into all of that.
“The priority is for the leadership to feel comfortable, that you feel stable so that when you handover it’s in a good spot.
“What that date is I can’t tell you, but it’s not going to be into late next year, but over the coming months, and if everyone’s happy with that I think that’s fair and I think people understand that.”
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au