Monday, March 3 was to be D-Day for Michael Williamson — and, in a way, I suppose it was.
Williamson had his bail revoked on Monday and has been remanded in custody while awaiting his sentence to be handed down on the 28 March, after which it is expected to be spending even more time in custody.
The court heard how Williamson grew up in poverty and wished to spare his children the hardship of a life like he had as a child.
That, to me, seems like a totally plausible explanation for working hard to achieve a position and wage that would allow Williamson to bring his family up in the manner he desired.
What it does not justify, however, is ripping off of millions of dollars from union members who are merely working to provide for their own families.
The court also heard Williamson claim to have been sexually abused as a child by a priest and, at one point, during the police investigation into his activities also considered suicide.
There to take part in the festivities and catch up with some media pals was Marco Bolano.
Some were concerned about Bolano’s mental status because of his alleged fragile state of mind that he claims causes him great stress due to the bullying he received when being stood down from his position as union secretary by a Federal Court Judge and then losing an election that was free of tampering.
Those fears were proven ill-founded as Bolano happily sat through the proceedings.
Others like the moronic shock-jocks who continue to sing Bolano’s praises and were concerned for his finances now that he is out of a job also need not lose sleep.
It seems that the $200,000 plus per annum compensation payments funded by the taxpayer were enough to cover his flight — and probably a first class one at that.
It is not just Bolano who has been fronting up at court sessions either.
Some may remember that when Craig Thomson was found guilty in Magistrates court in Melbourne, there were a handful of protesters/attention seekers outside court waiting to hurl abuse at Thomson for the TV cameras.
The ringleader of this rent-a-crowd or motley crew some may remember hearing screeching like some sort of demented bogan banshee on the 6pm news was none other than Kylee Brehaut, Marco Bolano’s partner, who can also be seen brawling whilst pregnant at union meetings in video's we've posted in the past.
There is a level of hypocrisy, or at least double standards when one stands in the street abusing someone accused of taking less than $20,000 a year from members, while their partner sits at home with his feet up collecting compensation of over $200,000 per annum. Alas, Kylee clearly does not see that.
Members who have contacted me claim that Bolano’s name is so far below the level normally associated with mud in Victoria that Brehaut will be campaigning for the position of Secretary of Number 1 branch in his place.
I don't think the members will be fooled by that.
Another friend of Brehauts and Bolano’s was also there to see the Williamson court appearance.
Kate McClymont was there to report on the events and at the same time give herself credit for her part in the story — despite much of her part not stacking up.
Some may remember McClymonts article on the sorry plight of Brehaut and Bolano from July 2012, or my reaction to her disgraceful cheerleader antics.
McClymont even started that article claiming Bolano had lost his job, he was in fact stood down from his position by a Federal Court Judge.
On March 1, McClymont again gives herself a big pat on the back, stating in her article:
'Strike Force Carnarvon was formed in 2011 after Fairfax Media revealed both men received American Express cards from a major supplier to the union, which may have constituted a secret commission, a jailable offence.'
McClymont has often written about the 'Fairfax Investigation' that uncovered these credit cards.
Call it a hunch, or call it logic, but I don’t think there was much an 'investigation', as such.
I am of the opinion that McClymont’s investigation went about as far as having a conversation with Kathy Jackson.
If there was an investigation, why did Williamson's mistress Cheryl McMillan’s name not surface? She too had one of the cards and I would assume McClymont would have been all over that like a rash were it uncovered.
The reason McMillan’s name didn’t come up, I assume, is because Kathy Jackson would have had no idea of McMillan’s involvement with the cards.
Anyway, for those wondering why McClymont is suddenly using the word 'may' in relation to the secret commissions — it is because they ended up being invoiced services, as my investigations showed. Some of those invoices are on my Jacksonville resource page, and all of them are with Strike Force Carnarvon.
My investigations weren’t that complex — all I did was ask the question.
This would be the reason why John and Carron Gilleland from Communigraphix were never charged with anything — despite McClymont’s series of articles portraying them as villains.
I note with amusement that McClymont, in her 1 March article, now has the Gilleland’s helping police, stating:
'After the police investigation started, Williamson instructed the suppliers, John and Carron Gilleland, to destroy any American Express card statements. They refused and instead assisted police.'
Perhaps the Gilleland’s, then, are the real whistleblowers in this sorry saga?
McClymont’s mission, however, is ongoing.
Not one to let a sleeping dog lie, McClymont can’t resist using Williamson’s guilt as an excuse to have another shot at Craig Thomson.
Thomson, as we know, is awaiting sentencing — which is due to be handed down on the 18th March.
I don’t think that there has ever been anyone in Australia undergo the level of investigation that Craig Thomson has. This has come from police in two states, journalists, private detectives, Fair Work Commission, political opponents, and the union itself. It has also been an ongoing investigation that has been more intensive and more expensive than the investigation into serial killer Ivan Milat and the backpacker murders.
However in her 1 March, article McClymont makes this bold claim:
The truth of the matter is that he and Craig Thomson, his (Williamson’s) former underling at the union, who is also facing imprisonment, got away with far more than they have been pinged for.
This is not a criticism of police, who have done a remarkable job, it is just a reality. Potential witnesses have died and documents have been destroyed.
Do you have anything at all to back that claim up? Names, documents, photo’s, video, affidavits; any evidence whatsoever?
Is it now the accepted practice to just make shit up, throw it out in print and hope some of it sticks?
In another recent article of McClymont’s she talks of accountability and how the main stream media is more accountable than those in the “blogosphere”.
I have a page specifically to post up the evidence and documentation to back up my work, something lacking from the mainstream media. If I made a wild claim like the above from McClymont, I would soon find myself in court defending a defamation suit.
McClymont used to hold the title of “investigative journalist” at Fairfax — that title has now become “senior reporter”. I can only suggest why.
Personally, I’m not surprised at McClymont’s obvious bias and cheap shots, but I do expect a higher standard from Fairfax.
Just as well we have McClymont’s much despised “blogosphere” to rely on, I guess.
You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
The originals of John Graham's art, featured in this piece as well as throughout IA, are available for purchase by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see a gallery of John's political art on his Cartoons and Caricatures Facebook page.