Hot topics: australia, the-budget, government-and-politics, federal-government, sport, states-and-territories, law-crime-and-justice, nsw, community-and-society, crime

Former state politician John D'Orazio dies

Updated April 12, 2011 20:54:00

John D'Orazio

Former MP John D'Orazio died unexpectedly last night (ABC)

Tributes have been pouring in for the former state Labor MP, turned Independent, John D'Orazio who has died at the age of 55.

He died in hospital while undergoing an operation for a rare blood condition.

Mr D'Orazio's wife Ailsa says he went into hospital on Monday for what was described as a routine operation.

"His heart failed apparently," she said.

"We're quite shocked, I think that is all I can say."

Mr D'Orazio was the former mayor of Bayswater before entering parliament in 2001.

He was forced to resign as Police Minister for failing to pay speeding fines and driving without a licence in 2006.

State Labor MP and close friend Michelle Roberts described Mr D'Orazio as a generous man who served the community.

"John was a very generous, caring, compassionate man and we'll certainly miss him very much."

She says an investigation by the Corruption and Crime Commission into Mr D'Orazio's links to a corrupt Bayswater panel beater came to nothing.

"Those inquiries ended up coming to nothing, I think those incidents were very unfortunate," she said.

"I think the true reflection of John is the more than 25 years that he gave to community and public life, I think he was a very decent and honourable person."

The Premier Colin Barnett was among those to pay tribute.

"His term in parliament had its ups and downs but he was generally a popular member across both sides of the chamber so he'll be missed," he said.

Colourful

Mr D'Orazio was a colourful politician who, although forced to resign from Labor, was later allowed back into the party.

He eventually became an independent after a series of events.

These included the CCC investigation into his links to panel beater Pasquale Minniti who was later jailed on corruption charges.

CCC hearings over Labor party links to former premier turned lobbyist, Brian Burke, also brought about the premature end to the ministerial careers of Mr D'Orazio along with those of John Bowler, Tony McRae and Norm Marlborough.

The hearings also took the gloss off Alan Carpenter's Labor government, contributing to its electoral demise in a snap poll in mid 2008.

Mr D'Orazio is survived by his wife and two children.

The family says details about funeral arrangements will be made public later this week.

Tags: community-and-society, death, wa, bayswater-6053

First posted April 12, 2011 10:37:00

ABC News Online Investigative Unit

The ABC News Online Investigative Unit encourages whistleblowers, and others with access to information they believe should be revealed for the public good, to contact us.

  1. Child beauty pageant star Eden Wood Toddlers and tiaras

    Child psychologist issues abuse warning as America's controversial child beauty pageants head to Australia.

  2. A tradesman works on the roof of a new house construction Winners and losers

    Who gained and who lost out in the federal budget?

  3. Wayne Swan Tough as tofu

    A tough budget was always too much to expect from a minority government, writes Stephen Long.

  4. Riders pay tribute to Wouter Weyland Top shot

    The Leopard-Trek team cross the finish line with Wouter Weylandt's friend Tyler Farrar (3rd R), in a tribute to their fallen colleague.