Barry Urban quits RSL amid threats of expulsion for fake medal scandal
FORMER Labor MP and police officer Barry Urban has quit the Returned and Services League of Australia after the WA branch threatened to expel him following the fake medal scandal.
Correspondence seen by The Sunday Times shows RSLWA chief executive John McCourt wrote to the former Darling Range MP last month telling him the board wanted Mr Urban to “show cause” why he should not be suspended or expelled after a parliamentary committee recommended he be expelled from the WA Parliament.
In his letter, Mr McCourt offered Mr Urban an olive branch, inviting him to show “regret or acceptance on your part as to what has transpired”.
Instead, Mr Urban — who quit parliament and later applied to have his RSLWA membership renewed — resigned from the veteran’s organisation.
“At the RSLWA board of directors meeting today, your ongoing membership of the organisation was discussed in view of your resignation from State Parliament over a number of matters including the wearing of a medal of which you were not entitled and other claims made as to your achievements,” Mr McCourt wrote in August.
“I am mindful of you citing post-traumatic stress disorder of which I am not calling into question. Indeed, it is important in the veteran community to take very seriously mental health and supporting measures to address same.
“What I am seeking as CEO is your response as to show cause why the board should not consider your suspension or expulsion given the circumstances.
“Further, I would be interested in your response as to any regret or acceptance on your part as to what has transpired.”
Mr Urban, 49, was this week charged with 12 counts of fraud. He faces a maximum seven years in prison if convicted. In his response to Mr McCourt’s letter, Mr Urban accused the RSL of “bullying”.
“To save further embarrassment and bullying, I will withdraw my application. I do not require the money be returned. Amazing I have been convicted purely on hearsay evidence.”
Mr Urban’s response states he would also resign his membership of the British Legion and the Artillery Association, adding: “This is a further kick in the teeth by an organisation who supports PTSD.”
Mr McCourt said yesterday the RSLWA “took no pleasure in seeking a response to a notice to Mr Urban or any other member to show cause”.
Mr Urban could not be contacted for comment.