The sentencing of former HSU boss Michael Williamson showed the extent of fraud, maladministration and corruption evident at that union.
The judge, David Frearson, described Williamson’s behaviour as “brazen and arrogant” and a “parasitic plundering of union funds for pure greed”
Williamson had run the HSU as a person fiefdom from 1995 to 2011, bring corruption and theft to that union throughout his tenure. Yet was elected to be Labor Federal President from 2009 and 2010 and as President of Unions NSW until April 2012. He was a trustee for First State Super, a director of SGE Credit Union and a member of the board of the ACTU.
This was a man who stole over $5 million through his tenure at the HSU, yet managed to avoid scrutiny from fellow union and ALP leaders. Were people so blind that they did not see him for what he was over all those years? Yet still vote for him to be the Federal President of the ALP? Who accepted his lobbying to have his protegé Craig Thomson preselected to the safe seat of Dobell?
I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I find it unlikely that his corrupt behaviour could have been unobserved over 16 years. Or that the defects in his character were unobserved or ignored to be voted into a position of trust.
It is also interesting that Williamson pleaded guilty to his crimes and received a five-year sentence, yet Thomson continues to thumb his nose at prosecutors and show no contrition for his crimes and only gets three months.
Did you also notice how Williamson stared at judge Frearson until he was led away? It seemed to me to be some sort of threat.