FORMER Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke has confirmed, in the Orange District Court, pleas of not guilty to allegations he tried to blackmail a former councillor, Jacqui Rudge.
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Robert William Bourke, 66, of Leo Grant Drive in Kelso, appeared briefly on Friday where he was arraigned on two charges: holder of public office misconduct himself and demand with menaces intend influence public duty.
He pleaded not guilty to both matters.
Bourke last appeared before the Bathurst Local Court in July 2022, where Magistrate Kevin Hockey committed the matter to trial.
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On Friday, the District Court heard that the five to seven-day trial is expected to be held in Sydney. The case has been put over to September 16 in Orange to determine a date and location.
Judge Graham Turnbull said he received a document from the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) requesting the case be held in a metropolitan court due to difficulty in obtaining a jury.
"Having held a public office in Bathurst, it would not be appropriate to have him tried in Bathurst," Mr Turnbull said.
He said the court needs to be confident that jurors will not be compromised by knowledge of the individual or knowledge of the allegation.
"It will go to a call over and then it will go to a date in one of those other jurisdictions," Judge Turnbull said.
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