Just an isolated case?

Our pie refusnik industrial relations minister, Bill Shorten, has pushed the proposition that the case of Thommo and Williamson stealing from the HSU is just an isolated incident.  Nothing broader to worry about, just move along.

Of course, he knows that not to be the case, as he dealt with the fallout of the Bruce Wilson ‘slush fund’ case.  Other examples include:

  • Shenanigans at the ETU
  • Shenanigans at the communications division of the CEPU
  • Cesar Melham setting up the Industry 2020 fund when he was with the AWU (Where has the money gone, Cesar?)

And now we learn on another case of an alleged misappropriation of funds from the TCFUA.

Hmmm, looks like a bit of a pattern, Bill.  Could be a strong case for an investigation?

SOUTH Australian Employee Ombudsman Stephen Brennan has denied allegations of misuse of union funds while a union official but will stand down from his post while investigations are underway.

The allegations surrounding Mr Brennan’s time as state secretary of the national textile union have been referred to South Australian Police and the Fair Work Commission.

“These allegations are false,” Mr Brennan, who was appointed Employee Ombudsman by the state Labor government in 2006, said in a statement to The Australian.

“However, I feel that it is in the best interests of the Office of Employee Ombudsman that I stand down until these investigations have been completed.

“Therefore I am now on a leave of absence.”

A letter sent to union members yesterday said allegations had been referred to police and the Fair Work Commission regarding the misuse of union funds by an unnamed former branch official in South Australia.

“It has recently come to the attention of the TCFUA National Council that this former official may have acted in breach of the union’s rules and/or relevant laws relating to the expenditure of union funds,” National Secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia Michele O’Neil said in the letter, obtained by The Australian.

“We take seriously our responsibility for union members’ funds.

“The person in question has not been a member, official or involved in any way with the union for many years.”

Mr Brennan spent 16 years with the Australian Textile Clothing and Footwear Union, becoming state secretary at the age of 24.

He said tonight he had been involved in litigation with the union over monies owed to him as an employee.

“This matter has been ongoing for some considerable time, and I believed it was approaching settlement,” he said in the statement.

“It is disappointing that some have decided to make the matter public to further their personal grievance.”

Ms O’Neil tonight said the union took the issue “extremely seriously” and has “taken all appropriate action to ensure it is dealt with by the relevant authorities”.

“The union will do everything necessary to facilitate and assist in any investigation they undertake.”

South Australian Police assistant commissioner Paul Dickson said in response to the allegation that up to $180,000 had been defrauded said: “We are aware of the allegations and police are currently assessing the information.”

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14 Responses to Just an isolated case?

  1. C.L.

    Shorten literally makes me laugh.

    In QT (and other forums) he does this thing now where he affects to be really Working Class, really Up The Workers. He sounds like Prince Charles doing his best at a shearers’ reunion.

  2. stackja

    “We are aware of the allegations and police are currently assessing the information.”

    Will assessment finish in October 2013?
    Shorten will be on the Opposition benches by then.

  3. wal1957

    Yep, nothing to see here. No sirree, we are for the “working class”, we look after their interests.

    The more they deny, the worse the stink is!
    Gillard…”I did nothing wrong”…Bulltish! Blind Freddy can see you did wrong!

    Thommo…” I am innocent of all charges…” “some bloke took my phone, credit card, drivers licence, car, and then drove to the brothel, had some fun, drove the car back, and returned my credit card, phone and drivers licence”. Bulltish! What has this guy been smoking?

    There is a lot of nervous union exec’s waiting for what I hope to be a full Royal Commission into all unions. I hope TA has the coyenes to follow through.

  4. Lysander Spooner

    Typical fiat response: “Nothing to see here folks”

  5. James of the Glens

    You could barely invent this scenario: “SA Employee Ombudsman” under investigation.

    Why not create an “SA Ombudsmen Ombudsman”?

    When the Adelaide Advertiser reported this during the week no comments were entertained, as is becoming more frequent as Labor/Unions/Left cast up their brightest and best.

  6. H B Bear

    Just add it to the Royal Commission terms of reference.

  7. Leigh Lowe

    I make that 36 isolated instances in a row.

  8. steve

    please tell me that there will be a Royal Commission. Has Abbott got the balls?

  9. what planet am I on?

    If there is no Royal Commission into the ACTU/Union governance in general,
    Tony Abbott may as well jump down the same sewer as Malcolm Fraser.

  10. H B Bear

    Thommo and Michael Williams convictions in the first or second year of the Abbott government will provide the pretext for the Royal Commission. It can just be set loose with some well funded investigators, loose terms of reference and it will be Costigan on steroids.

    Abbott will be able to completely demolish the nexus between union funding and Labor for the next 20 years.

  11. Peter S

    Shorten is up to his eyeballs in this stuff. Take it from someone who knows.

  12. min

    Why are you bovered with what Shorten finks? What I cannot understand is when they see the documentation available on web sites and I am sure they must , they are not looking like startled rabbits in the headlights. Latest is that allegations, with supporting evidence of course, is under investigation by another body.

  13. Steve

    I think if he claimed as being “young and nieve” should do the trick??

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