A bizarre letter penned by Brett Dixon to Darwin Turf Club members sent via a mailout by the Alice Springs Turf Club has caused confusion, after claiming he is taking a “leave of absence” but apparently not resigning.
The NT Independent understands the Darwin Turf Club met over the last couple of days to discuss Dixon’s future and their own, after a damning ICAC report into the $12 million grandstand scandal revealed adverse findings against Mr Dixon, members of the board and the board as a whole.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who approved the $12 million grant to the Turf Club while in the throes of a financial crisis and without scrutinising the economic benefits in the application, had called on the board to resign following the ICAC handing down his report on Friday.
So far, that has not happened.
Mr Dixon’s letter to members Tuesday night is confusing, as he refers to himself as the chair of TRNT and the DTC, despite the letter being emailed by the Alice Springs club.
One DTC member said it was strange that it did not come from the DTC.
Mr Dixon wrote that he would be “taking a leave of absence from both the Darwin Turf Club and TRNT board as of today”.
“Over the last 18 months the investigation and the recent ICAC report has devastated me, and my mental and physical condition has deteriorated to a point where I feel unable to function at my best,” he wrote.
“This whole saga has affected my family and I require time to support them as well.”
He also claimed in the letter that the ICAC report was “biased and the evidence I gave was totally ignored”.
He added that it had the effect of “destroying my reputation and the goodwill I have built up in Darwin and at the Darwin Turf Club over the last 40 years”.
Mr Dixon said later in the letter that Turf Club board member Rob Longuet will “take over as chair of the DTC from the time you receive this message” and that “Syd Stirling will take over as Chair of the TRNT”.
The NT Independent could not verify Mr Dixon’s claims as of Tuesday night.
A member of the club who did not wish to be named said they were confused.
“I’m not sure why Dixon would use someone else’s platform when we got emails just this weekend from him,” they said.
“You can only assume he’s doing it rogue without the support of the club or the board. That’s what got him in this mess in the first place, according to the [ICAC] report.”
MORE TO COME.