Union boss retires as investigation into domestic violence incident closes
Former union boss Jim Metcher has announced his retirement as a legal investigation finds he had a duty to disclose a domestic violence matter in his applications for right of entry permits in 2009 and 2010.
The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of , of which Mr Metcher was head of the NSW Postal & Telecommunications division, last year commissioned barrister Claire Howell to investigate media reports he had pleaded guilty to domestic violence.
Ms Howell’s legal opinion, outlined in a report released to Fairfax Media, found he did not plead guilty to any domestic violence charges laid by Blacktown police in 2007.
The report did not explore whether the domestic violence incidents occurred and Mr Metcher has not denied a domestic violence incident occurred 10 years ago.
“At the time this inquiry was commenced, in December 2016, the question of whether Mr Metcher had entered a guilty plea was in dispute,” Ms Howell’s report said.
“It is now clear that no guilty plea was entered by Mr Metcher at any time.”
Police charges against Mr Metcher were discharged on the basis of his mental health for which he has sought treatment.
Ms Howell said there were inaccurate computer entries on the NSW Attorney-General’s Department “Justice Link” which recorded that on all six charges “a plea of guilty is accepted”.
Ms Howell said she has confirmed that Justice Link does not form part of the court record and that court papers “are the definitive record”.
Mr Metcher will on Thursday announce that after almost 30 years of service to his union he will retire “to spend more time with my family, effective immediately”.
As someone who started out as a postie on the streets of Randwick in 1980, he said he was proud of his role in “advancing the interests of, and achieving a better deal for, Post workers throughout my career”.
“With a number of grandchildren now in the family, it is the right time for me to leave the workforce and concentrate on my family and role as a grandparent,” he said.
“A personal family incident occurred around 10 years ago and, at the time, I took responsibility for my role in that and voluntarily underwent a lengthy period of mental health treatment over more than a year. Since the incident, and through that treatment, I have rebuilt relationships with my family.
“I maintain a commitment to my family not to speak publicly about the incident other than to say I deeply regret those events, 10 years ago. I have done everything I can to rebuild relationships with my family and, with the help of professionals, to deal with those issues.”
Mr Metcher said he would encourage anybody who has been involved in a domestic violence incident to follow his example and seek assistance and treatment.
The union’s committee of management said the report cites and annexures correspondence from the Acting Registrar of Blacktown Local Court confirming that Mr Metcher did not plead guilty to any charges laid by Blacktown police in 2007, nor was he convicted or found guilty of any offence.
The committee also acknowledged the legal opinion concluded there was a duty to disclose the Blacktown Court matters, in 2009 and 2010, but not in respect of the 2013 and 2016 right of entry permit applications.