Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Craig Thomson denies improperly spending HSU funds, abusing union position

Craig Thomson

"FEDERAL independent MP Craig Thomson has denied spending union money on prostitutes and improperly using his position when national secretary of the Health Services Union.

In a 28-page defence lodged today in the Federal Court, Mr Thomson responded to civil claims brought by Fair Work Australia after its three-year investigation into the HSU national office.

FWA says the former Labor MP, who now sits on the crossbenches, failed to exercise his duties as national secretary in “good faith” and for “proper purpose”.

It has alleged 37 breaches of industrial laws and 25 breaches of HSU rules by Mr Thomson, who has in turn argued FWA's claim for imposition of civil penalties should be dismissed because the case was initiated outside legal time limits.

FWA alleges Mr Thomson used his union credit card for private expenditure on prostitutes, airfares for his then wife Christa and other friends and family, high living and his 2007 campaign to be elected the Labor MP for the NSW Central Coast seat of Dobell."

In his defence, Mr Thomson denied withdrawing union cash for his own personal benefit, and denied that he was permitted to use the credit cards only to incur expenditure that was either authorised by the national council or the national executive, or for the general administration of the HSU.
He did not deny, but did not admit, allegations that he spent thousands on his credit card buying flights for Christa Thomson in 2005 and 2006, but has denied that the spending was unauthorised.
Mr Thomson has not given specific details of his defence, which has stuck to a strict legal formula.
The case is listed for a directions hearing in February.
Police in Victoria and NSW are also conducting investigations into the HSU, including allegations involving spending by Mr Thomson while national secretary, and into allegations of corruption in the NSW branch of the HSU going back to the late 1990s, when he was the branch's assistant general secretary.

Craig Thomson denies improperly spending HSU funds, abusing union position | The Australian:

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