Chris McCann, a former homicide detective and whistleblower at icare, the $38 billion NSW workers compensation insurance agency, said he was subjected to vile, homophobic abuse on email and forced out of the organisation.

McCann, revealed the details about the bullying and harassment he faced at icare, to a joint investigation by The Age,The Sydney Morning Herald,andABC TV’s 7.30.

After two decades in the NSW police, McCann had joined icare as a senior compliance officer in 2016. Tasked with investigating fraud and corruption, McCann reported the alleged wrongdoing  at the organisation to senior management, but found that his red flags were ignored.

Instead, McCann soon found himself a target of harassment. The attacks, mostly anonymous, intensified after he was diagnosed with a serious illness.

An email sent from an anonymous ID in June 2017 read: “icare does not want gay… in the workplace. You should get out. Do not touch our cups, plates or cutlery. Your type are disgusting.”

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 Another email, a month later, said: “Eating in our kitchen again didn’t you get the last message. Don’t you understand you’re not wanted. What will your NSW police friends say when they find out about you (deleted).”

One day he said he arrived in the office to find a  package on his desk with a pair of rubber gloves. A message on the package read: “You filthy poofter who comes in here… Ask your co-workers (names deleted) and everyone else what they think of you.”

McCann quit icare in 2018 after signing a non-disclosure agreement. He was diagnosed with PTSD and hasn’t been able to work since then.

“I used to ride my bike to work and there were days when I used to feel so depressed about both going in there and going home that I felt like driving in front of a bus,” McCann told The Age. “I felt gutted, destroyed, betrayed, and they were in effect destroying everything I had built up over those years in my career.”

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 Former ICAC counsel Geoffrey Watson has called for a royal commission or special commission of inquiry into icare. John Nagle, chief executive of icare, was among the top executives who resigned following the SMH investigations. Nagle resigned on August

The ABC 7.30 investigation will be broadcast on Monday, August 24, 2020.

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Speak to a Switchboard or QLife counsellor. Call 1800 184 527 or webchat from 3 pm to midnight AEST.

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