Monday, December 10, 2012

Craig Thomson in the news again - not quite for the right reasons. Yet ! - Michael Smith

Michael Smith - You'll recall that Fair Work Australia lodged this charge sheet, or more precisely a "Statement of Claim" on 15 October, 2012 in the Federal Court.   Michael Smith brought you the actual statement of claim.

Craig Thomson - the statement of claim lodged in court by Fair Work Australia

This is the front sheet of the statement of claim lodged in court today.  You can download the rest of the document here

I think it's quite significant that Fair Work Australia has found that expenditure on getting elected to a paid position is personal expenditure and that the benefit is a personal benefit.   Paragraphs 163 to 177 set out some of the expenditure on getting himself elected to the parliament and paragraph 178 (a) states that it is a personal benefit.
I think this view has some implications for the election slush fund that Miss Gillard set up for her boyfriend.   It is on the face of it,  a personal benefit.

Now Mr Thomson has had his say. You can download Craig Thomson's defence here.

Michael Smith One of the matters that Fair Work Australia looked at was the admissions that Mr Thomson made in his interview with me on 2UE.

Radio Interview on Radio 2UE between Michael Smith
 and Craig THOMSON MP conducted on Monday 1 August 2011

Michael SMITH:
Q1 Twenty-seven past midday. Thankyou very much for
your company Craig THOMSON MP, gidday!
A1 Gidday Michael, how are you?
Michael SMITH:
Q2 Very well. You’d be aware of a credit card voucher
that was produced in Supreme Court proceedings.
It’s got your name on it, Craig Thomson, Health
Services Union. It’s got your drivers licence
number on the back of it. It’s got your signature,
which matches your driver’s licence on the front
and the amount is for $2,475. It went to Sydney
Outcalls Services, that’s their trading name, it
was Keywed Proprietary Limited. How did all those
details get on the voucher?
A2 Well Michael, thanks for having me on and giving me
the opportunity because you did say some things
last week and you’ve given me the opportunity to
respond to those and I will as best I can. Ummm…
Contrary to what you actually said last week when
you were talking about it, I actually reached an
agreement with Fairfax in March…
Michael SMITH:
Q3 This has got nothing to do with Fairfax mate. I’m
asking you how your drivers licence, your
signature, all those details, your credit card, got
on that voucher?
A3 I understand that and I’m going to answer in terms
of what I can answer for you. You had a pretty
free go the other day and you’ve invited me on to
put my side and I thank you for that and that’s
what I’m trying to do at the moment Michael.
So…so, I took action against Fairfax and I also
took action against the Health Services Union...
Michael SMITH:
Q4 Hang on mate. I’m repeating it. I’m saying your
signature is on that voucher. Your drivers licence
number has been transcribed onto the back of it.
How did all that get there?
A4 Well, it’s umm… I’m not saying that’s my signature
for a start. That’s the first thing that’s there…
Michael SMITH:
Q5 Okay, so, did somebody forge your signature for the
procurement of those services and produced your
credit card?
A5 Well, it certainly wasn’t me and in fact on, on, on
over half the occasions that I’m alleged to have
been using that card in those sorts of
establishments, I actually…
Michael SMITH:
Q6 Let’s talk about one. April 9, 2005. The card was
presented and the purchase was for $2,475 worth of
prostitution services from Sydney Outcalls Agency…
A6 Michael, Michael, I’m not going to go through the
details of stuff that I am legally not able to
Michael SMITH:
Q7 What is the legal impediment that stops you from
defending yourself?
A7 Well I signed a confidentiality agreement…
Michael SMITH:
Q8 And did you in that sign an agreement in which you
said you would be unable to defend yourself?
A8 No, well I totally reject the allegations and have
done consistently from there. It’s a
Michael SMITH:
Q9 Ok, well you were the boss of the Health Services
Union at the time the Health Services Union credit
card was used to procure those services, were you?
A9 Yes I was.
Michael SMITH:
Q10 Okay. Did you take the matter to police if you
believe that the credit card was used improperly,
did you go and report it to the police?
A10 The union reached a settlement with another
gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to use
of the credit cards at an escort agency.
Michael SMITH:
Q11 Did he forge your signature?
A11 I don’t know whether he forged my signature or who
forged my signature…
Michael SMITH:
Q12 Did you take the matter to the police?
A12 Our handwriting expert believed that there were a
number of different signatures there…
Michael SMITH:
Q13 Okay, did you take the matter then to the police if
you had evidence that somebody had improperly used
the union’s credit card?
A14 We’ve referred it to a number of agencies…
Michael SMITH:
Q14 To the police?
A15 And in fact the only concluded inquiry that’s been
done has been by the AEC who said there was no
basis for the allegations of…
Michael SMITH:
Q15 Hang on, hang on, hang on Craig. You were the boss
of the Health Services Union, responsible for your
members’ money. You believed that a credit card
issued by the union was used to procure the
services of prostitutes, with your driver’s licence
number on the back of the voucher by the way. You
formed the belief that somebody must’ve forged your
signature and you didn’t go straight to police?
A15 Well, these are events that occurred, the
revelation of these events occurred after I had
Michael SMITH:
Q16 Hang on a sec mate. You get your credit card
statement, you have a look, “Oh $2,475 [inaudible],
what’s that?”, you say to your PA. She says, “Oh,
it’s a hookers agency in Sydney”, and you go, “Oh,
that’s fair enough, no worries, just pay that one”.
A16 Well, things don’t work quite like that…
Michael SMITH:
Q17 Well, hang on mate, you’ve got responsibility for
your members’ money. You are the boss of the
union, your personal credit card with your name on
it. You get the statement back. $2,475 would raise
somebody’s eyebrows and you as the boss signing
that thing off, you just say, oh, no, just pay
that, it’s no worries. You didn’t query it?
A17 Michael, there are a lot of things that I queried.
When I took over in the Health Services Union, they
didn’t used to have a finance committee. I set up
a finance committee…
Michael SMITH:
Q18 Mate, don’t try and get of the subject here. On
April 9 2005, $2,475 is on that credit card for the
services of an escort agency in Sydney. You’re the
bloke who that statement’s issued in your name and
you don’t query it Craig?
A18 Michael, I took legal action in relation to
defending my position. I have taken legal action
both against Fairfax and against the union. In
both cases, I’ve reached agreements that I am very
happy with.
Michael SMITH:
Q19 Ok hang on mate. You’re talking about two separate
things here. When this matter was reported on the
front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, you sued
them for defamation. You withdrew that action,
A19 No, I reached an agreement with the Sydney Morning
Herald in March of this year…
Michael SMITH:
Q20 They stand by their allegations mate.
A20 Well let me finish. As a condition of that
agreement, reached in March of this year, one of
the conditions was that the defamation action be
withdrawn. Now, if Fairfax didn’t have to agree
with that. As you know, in defamation action, it
takes both sides to reach an agreement for the
matter not to go ahead, otherwise, there will be a
verdict given in favour of one party. If I, for
example, just said look I’m pulling the case…
Michael SMITH:
Q21 Okay, Craig, Craig, hang on mate, hang on mate…
A21 Michael, that’s the way the law works.
Michael SMITH:
Q22 I understand that. Now, since then Fairfax says it
stands by what it printed and it has repeated what
you say is a defamation. It’s repeated it. I
haven’t worked for Fairfax too and I’m repeating it
A22 Mmmm… Yeah we are looking at what action we may or
may not take.
Michael SMITH:
Q23 Okay let’s come back then. So that’s the
defamation dealt with. That’s off to one side.
Let’s come back to you…
A23 [inaudible] similar action against the Health
Services Union and again, there was an agreement
that err…
Michael SMITH:
Q24 Let’s come back to you Craig. Did you do a very
good job as boss of the union?
A24 Well look I’m concerned about the issues and the
allegations that were there and I’ve defended
myself in terms of that but…
Michael SMITH:
Q25 So that’s you, you want to defend yourself, you’re
concerned about you but the boss of the union,
you’ve got your poor bloody cleaners in the
hospitals who are paying their union dues that goes
to the union. You’re the boss of the union. You
get a credit card issued in your name. It’s used
to procure the services of prostitutes amongst
other things and you don’t even go through the
statement and have a look at that entry and say,
“Oh, hang on a sec. These hookers in Sydney are
coming up a bit regularly. We better get the
police in”. Why didn’t you do that?
A25 Well there was an investigation and there was a
report that was written in terms of…
Michael SMITH:
Q26 After you left right?
A26 Well it actually commenced when I was there…
Michael SMITH:
Q27 Did you order it?
A27 Yes I did, I actually ordered a complete review of
what was happening…
Michael SMITH:
Q28 Did you go to the police though Craig?
A28 We’ve gone to the appropriate bodies in terms of
that and you know there has been a person who was
paid back some money.
Michael SMITH:
Q29 Who was that?
A29 Well I’m not at liberty to say, again because I’m
very careful in relation to defamation action.
There’s been a private agreement that’s been signed
with lawyers in terms of those sorts of things.
Michael SMITH:
Q30 Mate, I can’t get that in my head Craig. Look,
I’ve got the voucher in front of me, hang on a sec
A30 But it’s a fairly simple sort of issue that’s there
Michael SMITH:
Q31 Craig it is to me, it’s simple…
A31 Well someone has to be responsible for it. They
have made an agreement with the union where they’ve
paid back some money and it’s up to the unionists
to what they do…
Michael SMITH:
Q32 But on the face of it, Craig, I’ve got the credit
card voucher in my hand here, a copy of it and it’s
got your signature. I’ve also got a copy of your
driver’s licence which was relevant in those
Supreme Court proceedings. Your photo, your
signature, it matches the signature on the credit
card voucher and your driver’s licence number is
transcribed on the back of it. Now on the face of
it at the very least, if you say a third person
copied your signature, that must, ipso facto, be a
forgery and a matter for the people.
A32 well Michael, as much as you want to continue to go
through with this, the matter is being dealt with
in a series of cases and inquiries and the people
on the central coast have been more concerned with
the way in which I do my job since I was elected in
2007 and that’s what we’re doing in terms of making
sure I do proper representation for the people of
my area.
Michael SMITH:
Q33 Okay. Craig, when you got the credit card statement
for that month with $2,475 appearing…
A33 Michael, I’ve said the difficulty we have in terms
of going through these issues…
Michael SMITH:
Q34 Hang on a sec mate, it’s just a simple question. A
simple question Craig…
A34 Mm-hmmm…
Michael SMITH:
Q35 Did you authorise it getting paid?
A35 Um…In terms of the actual bills that had been paid?
Yes, I authorised all the credit card bills and
there are a number of people who had credit cards…
Michael SMITH:
Q36 Why did you authorise the payment from the Health
Services Union account to an escort agency in
A36 Well, I didn’t know it was an escort agency and can
say Michael, that you know, there are legitimate
criticisms in terms of some of the processes and
procedures of the Health Services Union and I’m
Michael SMITH:
Q37 Was it unusual for you to have on your personal
credit card, issued by the union, to see an amount
of $2,475 and not to ask what it was about?
A37 It’s not a personal credit card.
Michael SMITH:
Q38 Has it got your name on it?
A38 Yeah but it’s a business card.
Michael SMITH:
Q39 Okay, who signs it off?
A39 There are quite a number of those cards that are
Michael SMITH:
Q40 Sorry, this one’s got your name on it.
A40 Yeah, they come through on my account.
Michael SMITH:
Q41 Yeah okay, so you signed it off?
A41 Mm-hmmm.
Michael SMITH:
Q42 You approved it for payment?
A42 Yep.
Michael SMITH:
Q43 And you didn’t ask questions about it?
A43 Well on the face of it I didn’t understand what it
was Michael but I’ve told you…
Michael SMITH:
Q44 When did you find out Craig?
A44 Um, when we started to delve into those issues.
Michael SMITH:
Q45 Okay, well let me ask you this. On that day in
question, your mobile phone records have been
produced and your personal mobile phone was used to
dial the Sydney number for Sydney Outcalls Escort
Agency. How did that happen?
A45 Well Michael, as I said, I’m not going through any
more details in terms of what’s there.
Michael SMITH:
Q46 Did your mobile phone record show an entry that
your mobile phone rang the number for the Sydney
Outcalls Agency?
A46 Well the reporting of the issue that you’re trying
to raise was inaccurate. For a start…
Michael SMITH:
Q47 Hang on, a simple question. Was your mobile, do
you, was your mobile used to call that escort
A47 Look Michael, for a start, it started to talk about
me living in Bateau Bay which I haven’t lived at
Bateau Bay. I don’t even…
Michael SMITH:
Q48 But you’re avoiding the question mate. It’s
A48 Michael I’ve gone through as much as I can in terms
of what…
Michael SMITH:
Q49 No you haven’t Craig. Alright, well let me repeat
it. I say your mobile phone is…
A49 You might find this scintillating and so forth…
Michael SMITH:
Q50 No I don’t mate. It goes to your fitness to be a
member of the Federal Parliament. If that union
A50 Well the good people of Dobell had the opportunity
in 2010 to decide whether they wanted to re-elect
me and they did. In fact, I had a swing to me
which was unusual in New South Wales as you
probably recall. All of these issues were in the
public domain Michael and it’s a question of who
you believe. Now, I have tried to be as open with
you as I possibly can within the legal constraints.
There is little more I can add to it.
Michael SMITH:
Q51 I can’t imagine that you would place on yourself,
in the settlement of defamation proceedings, legal
restrictions on your ability to defend yourself.
A51 Um, well Michael, I’ve said as much as I can. If
other parties to those agreements choose to act in
a different way then they’re matters we have to
consider as to what action we may or may not take.
Michael SMITH:
Q52 Thanks for your time Craig.
A52 Okay.
Michael SMITH:

And finally, just so it's all in one place, here's Mr Thomson's lawyer telling the world that old slippery tongue did not say what the laws of physics and aural perception have told the rest of us that he did.


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