A new Fairfax investigation has shown self-professed HSU whistleblower Kathy Jackson as spending more than $1 million of Union money on personal credit cards. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks, who has been investigating and reporting on Jackson and her cronies for several years, reports and adds new revelations.
There is a saying some would have been best to take note of:
"Beware the crow that coos like it's a dove"
This week, the walls moved in a little closer again on the Coalition's darling girl, who loves to blow her own whistle.
I speak, of course, of Kathy Jackson — and it's about time too.
Further evidence has come to light from the excellent work of Fairfax investigative journalists Nick McKenzie, Ben Schneiders, and Richard Baker. This evidence supports my investigations and backs some of the claims I made here over a year ago.
With this new evidence of the seemingly systematic bleeding of the union members hard-earned money under Kathy Jackson, let's have a quick refresher of what Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne think of her.
Tony Abbott and I differ greatly on what makes a brave and decent woman — however, oddly enough, I agree with Tony Abbott on some things.
The 70,000 members do deserve answers and it's about time Jackson and her Branch Committee Of Management cronies gave some for her unauthorised use of credit cards and unauthorised expenditure.
Let's not also forget others from the Coalition have showered Jackson with praise.
The evidence uncovered by Fairfax of over $1 million expenditure just on personal credit cards paid back to her by the union members is deeply offensive.
This million bucks does not include the over $200,000 of cash withdrawals by Jackson as she admitted in court. Nor does it include the slush funds, or the invoiced "services" from her own companies Neranto #10 and Koukouvaos Consulting, the immense pay rises on the advice of a friend, the trip to France, the huge liquor binges, the child care payments, the expensive dinners, and so on and so on.
Former HSU president Michael Williamson is current languishing in prison for five years for $1 million worth of fraud, Jackson has well and truly exceeded that figure if allegations are proven.
It would seem to the casual observer that the evidence uncovered by Fairfax and Wixxyleaks/Independent Australia may be the real reason Jackson wanted to take over HSU East from Michael Williamson. It could be surmised that she would have needed access to those records to ensure they were destroyed to hide her alleged crimes. This, some could further conclude, is the reason she worked so hard on her allies' election campaigns at the last union elections. You may remember that aiding her in these campaigns were conservative shockjocks Ray Hadley, Chris Smith, Michael Smith and Paul Murray:
As I have been trying to have Jackson investigated in a serious manner for a number of years now, I am grateful to see the mainstream come on board. (Of course, they have dipped their toes in the water before.)
Certain elements of the Victorian Police have shown that they cannot be relied upon to investigate Jackson, despite having ample access to reams of evidence; this has led many to view the Victorian Fraud Squad as political pawns.
However, there are a couple more things that probably won’t be reported in the mainstream media that are just as important to remember.
Firstly, details of the HSU Number 3 Branch expenditure during Kathy Jackson’s time as branch secretary are largely unknown.
The reason for this is that bank records related to that expenditure cannot be retrieved, except by the Victorian Police — who, as I mentioned, seem particularly reluctant to follow any avenue that might lead to Jackson.
It is estimated by some that approximately 70% of the union’s expenses under Jackson's control cannot be seen, as she used her own personal cards for union business — a fact highlighted by today's Fairfax article.
This is despite having two union credit cards at her disposal.
To the sceptical amongst us, it could easily be viewed as a matter of spending what she wanted known about on the Union card and spending what she wanted hidden on her personal card, to be reimbursed by the HSU. This opinion would appear to me to be an entirely reasonable conclusion, as I am unable to think of another reason to use your own cards for Union purposes.
Whilst we cannot tell what Jackson was spending Union members' money on, we can see via the Union's bank records that Jackson's payments on her personal credit cards were being direct debited from the HSU Number 3 Branch cheque account. We can also see that those amounts were substantial.
Members will no doubt be hopeful that the Royal Commission will use its powers to source details of exactly what the hidden expenditure was used for by Jackson.
There are many allegations and rumours about what this spending may have been on, but one of the most disturbing allegations relates to a medical procedure. Numerous sources have told us of Jackson allegedly having cosmetic breast surgery at Union members' expense in 2006.
I have no issue at all with cosmetic surgery, however the members after all of this time would like to know if they ended up paying for it, as many of them suspect. Jackson’s word on this will not satisfy the members minds either, as Jackson's word has proven to be even less reliable than a Tony Abbott election promise.
The other thing to remember as more information on Kathy Jackson’s alleged misuse of union funds and her desperate attempts to hide them come to the surface is that she has a man standing behind her and supporting her in her actions.
The man I speak of is not Jackson's brooding glove puppet Marco Bolano, it is her Tony Abbott appointed member of the judiciary husband fiancé Michael Lawler.
Michael Lawler, many of you will remember, is Vice President of the Fair Work Commission (formerly Fair Work Australia) — a position he was appointed to by Tony Abbott himself. Fair Work Australia was, of course, the Government body that performed the notorious investigation into the Health Services Union — well, most of it anyway. They made an omission for the branch Jackson was secretary of — although only for the period during which she was secretary. How convenient for Jackson.
Since then, there have been claims from Lawler that he has had nothing whatsoever to do with the HSU and its ongoing problems, however evidence has emerged that suggests otherwise.
New reports on the HSU saga in early 2012 had Michael Lawler making the initial contact to police that initiated Strike Force Carnarvon, and also allegedly making threatening phone calls to a member of staff Carol Glen. If true, this is a far cry from having no involvement.
Read more about this here.
Then there was the case of the document called Kafka, which had the file properties shown above and clearly showed someone accessing the Union's network and saving documents with software registered to Fair Work Australia by someone named Jackson. This would appear to indicate Jackson may have had access to FWA’s network via her fiancé’s computer, which must be breach a several laws and/or regulations, one would imagine.
Then there was the accessing of the HSU network by a computer with the ID Lawler, which does seem to indicate, at the very, the personal and professional lives of the couple significantly overlapped.
This breach of security prompted a letter of complaint from the HSU's acting general secretary Peter Mylan to the president of Fair Work Australia, Justice Guidice, and also copied in NSW Police:
Read more about this here.
Other things indicating Lawler was involved in the union was the employment of his two sons. Michael Lawler’s sons were both employed by Kathy Jackson’s branch, despite them living in Sydney and the Union being based in Melbourne. There has yet to be any evidence of any duties performed or tasks done by Lawler’s sons.
Lawlers sons payslips can be seen via the below link:
Read more about this here.
When KPMG were called in to do an independent inquiry into the FWA investigation into the HSU, you will not win any prizes for guessing which vice president refused to co-operate with the investigation his own organisation commissioned.
That’s right, Michael Lawler refused to allow KPMG access to his computer equipment. The big question is why? Note: Lawler was the only employee of the FWA named by KPMG as refusing to co-operate.
And why during a branch meeting did Kathy Jackson’s phone allegedly suddenly blare out Michael Lawler’s voicemail a few times? Was it, as some have suggested, that she trying to dial his number in secret so he could eavesdrop in on the meeting?
Fair Work Australia vice president Michael Lawler; his partner, HSU "whistleblower" Kathy Jackson; and friend.
With Jackson’s halo finally crashing down upon her head, and Lawler’s attempts to distance himself from the stench he allegedly helped create, it is great to see the mainstream media belatedly putting out some of the facts rather than the same old Jackson spin we have been spoon fed by News Limited and the Sydney office of Fairfax.
Some of that spin I exposed in May last year in relation to an article by Kate McClymont she won a Walkley Award for, which has now been backed up by police statements, according to the new Fairfax evidence.
Judging from the material emerging, which is based around police evidence rather than tall stories, it is about time some of the real whistle blowers were recognised.
It is clear that rather than the villains that Kathy Jackson, the shock-jocks, and many of the journalists have spent years portraying, the owners of Communigraphix, John and Caron Gilleland seem to be the unsung heroes in the saga.
As I first wrote about over a year ago, the Gillelands told both Jeff and Kathy Jackson about the American Express credit way back in the last millennium, in 1999, and sat on the information — only releasing it when it suited Kathy's agenda.
As I have also reported before, it is now also quite clear that the Gilleland’s have gone well beyond the call of duty in assisting the fraud squad with their investigation. They are the true whistleblowers in this saga.
Far from reaping any rewards, as some have erroneously and maliciously suggested, they have lost their business, their home and, most precious, of all their privacy.
But at least they have maintained their dignity.
Which is far more than I can say for many others.
Editor's note: Peter Wicks did answer enquiries from certain journalists involved in The Age investigation, but it should be noted that their investigation was done entirely independently from Wixxyleaks and IA. We are very willing to discuss our work with them further and we hope they fully investigate this matter as there is an abundance of credible source material that has not yet been revealed in the mainstream media.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
A selection of original John Graham's political art – including the picture above – may be purchased from IA's online store. (See more of John's political art on his Cartoons and Caricatures Facebook page.)