Scully was born in Sydney and educated at state schools. He graduated in law from Macquarie University, Sydney, and has been active in the Australian Labor Party since his student days. He practised as a solicitor before being elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as member for the safe seat of Smithfield in 1990. He is a member of the dominant right-wing faction of the New South Wales Labor Party.
Scully was held the ministerial portfolios of small business and regional development (1995), state development (1995), public works and services (1995-97), roads and transport (1997-2003), housing (2003-05) and police (2005-06).
Scully was considered a possible candidate to succeed Bob Carr as premier of New South Wales, and announced his intention to run for the position after Carr announced his resignation in July 2005. But he withdrew from the contest on 29 July when it became clear that health minister Morris Iemma had majority support in the Labor Caucus. Although Scully publicly blamed the party machine for working against him, it was reported that some Labor MPs feared his record as transport minister during the Waterfall train disaster and other problems would have worked against the party at the next state election if he was leader. Scully in 2013 denied that he hated powerbroker Eddie Obeid for denying him becoming Premier. 
Iemma sacked Scully as police minister on 25 October 2006 after he misled parliament twice in two weeks over the consequences of the 2005 Cronulla riots. Then Opposition leader Peter Debnam had repeatedly called for Scully's resignation.
- Andrew Clennell and David Braithwaite (25 October 2006 (retrieved 25 October 2006)). "Police minister resigns". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "The Hon. (Carl) Patrick Carl Scully (1957 - )". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Darren Goodsir and Andrew Clennell (30 July 2005 (retrieved 25 October 2006)). "If only he had kept the trains on time". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Jean, Peter; Ralston, Nick (25 October 2006 (retrieved 25 October 2006)). "'Errors' force minister to quit". News.com.au.
- Alex Mitchell (2007-01-14 (retrieved 15 January 2007)). "Scully quits politics after humiliating cabinet snub". The Sydney Morning Herald.
|Parliament of New South Wales|
|Member for Smithfield
1990 – 2007