Thursday, 1 September 2016
The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 2016:
A young Liberal who is managing Christine Forster's campaign to become Sydney's next lord mayor had to repay almost $14,000 to his former charity employer after it was discovered he had charged personal expenses to the organisation's credit card.
Mitchell Price, who is also a senior adviser to Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith MP, used a corporate credit card to purchase $13,816 of personal hire-car travel and social media and Facebook advertising while employed as an executive assistant to the CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras from November 2013 to April 2015.
Mitchell Price, 26, is campaign manager for Christine Forster (pictured right),
who is vying to be Sydney's next lord mayor.
Mr Price, whose sudden departure from the organisation was subject to a confidentiality agreement, told Fairfax Media he had "mistakenly" charged his personal expenses to the charity's corporate credit card.
He attributed the mistake to an inadvertent linking of the charity's corporate credit card to accounts on his computer……
It is understood Mr Price's spending was discovered in December 2014 when the card provider issued an SMS to the chief executive, then Michael Rolik, alerting him to activity on the account.
The board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras - a registered charity - confirmed it referred the matter to NSW police.
However, it is understood Mr Price engaged lawyers and reached a confidential agreement with the organisation to repay the money in full. Mr Price said he repaid the money by 2015.
Following the incident, the Mardi Gras board cancelled all corporate credit cards and replaced them with limited debit cards to restricted accounts, and cancelled all third party transport accounts.
The emergence of Mr Price's fall-out with the Mardi Gras organisation has come during a period of bitter infighting among inner Sydney conservatives, even as Ms Forster is poised to mount a strong challenge to Town Hall titan Clover Moore.
Ms Forster and Mr Notley-Smith both rallied behind Mr Price on Tuesday, telling Fairfax Media they accepted his explanation that the misuse of corporate funds had been the result of a mistake…..