We’re part of the union …

Williamson, who ran the HSU as his personal fiefdom from 1995 until 2011, pleaded guilty to several counts of defrauding the union of close to a $1 million and enlisting family and friends to cover up his crimes.

What Williamson has been jailed for was only the tip of the iceberg. He had been defrauding the union for almost two decades.

Michael Williamson, former federal president of the Australian Labor Party, has been sentenced to 7½ years in jail with a five-year non-parole period. Craig Thomson, former ALP member of parliament currently on bail pending an appeal against his conviction for dishonesty, was his protegé at the HSU. You can read more <HERE>.

I wonder if the Obeids will one day join him.

One down …

Michael Williamson has pleaded guilty to plundering the Health Services Union of getting on for a million dollars. The one time president of the Australian Labor Party and head of the Health Services Union was being paid $513,294 per year at the time. Jail looks likely.

Wouldn’t trust union officials as far as I could throw’em. You would have to wonder why the ALP recruits so heavily from that arena.

More charges …

2009-2010 National President for the Australian Labor Party, Unions NSW Vice President and Finance Committee Member, and member of the ACTU executive. The very epitome of a Labor man …

Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson has been charged with 28 more offences that include defrauding the organisation of $620,000 paid to his wife’s company for services never provided.

More charges are expected and more senior union staff will be charged in the coming weeks, police say.

The 59-year-old appeared briefly in a Sydney court on Wednesday charged with a total of 48 offences, following his arrest on October 4.

Court documents allege CANME Services, registered in Williamson’s wife’s name, received 47 cheques totalling $620,326 from 2001 and 2009 for work not performed.

He has also been charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime, or money laundering, in relation to $400,000 of that money.

NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad commander Colin Dyson said investigations by Strike Force Carnarvon are far from over.

‘These are the first charges of what I believe will be a series of charges in respect of allegations of fraud committed upon the Health Services Union,’ Detective Superintendent Dyson told reporters outside Waverley Local Court.

He said at least two other senior union staff members will be charged in coming weeks with fraud and hindering the police investigation.

Good to see Mr Williamson back in the news

In July, the Temby report, an internal investigation into allegations of corruption within the union, found that nepotism and cronyism resulted in Mr Williamson, his family and friends reaping millions of dollars from the troubled HSU during his 15-year reign.

The report found that companies controlled by Mr Williamson and his family had received $5 million from the union over the past four years.

He was arrested this morning and charged with twenty offences. At first glance it seems they are mostly in relation to possible attempts to cover up his previous actions. Investigations are continuing. Will we see charges of embezzlement?

La, la, la, la, la …

A sad feature of the Gillard slush fund affair is the extraordinary length the love media, the ABC and Fairfax, have gone to not to cover it. What they did cover was their eyes and ears whilst humming “La, la, la, la, la … “.
And when the prime minister did take questions on the matter it wasn’t from those with the questions prepared. She chose her battleground cleverly and let ill-prepared troops fight themselves to exhaustion. Smart.

The apologists loved it.

The Age

JULIA Gillard lashed out at ‘’misogynists and the nut jobs on the internet’’ and ‘’false and defamatory’’ reports in the Murdoch pressas she delivered a 50-minute blow-by-blow rebuttal of allegations that she behaved improperly during her time as an industrial lawyer.

As well, The Age found a tangent to go off on

WHEN Julia Gillard lashed out at the ‘’misogynist nut jobs on the internet’’ yesterday, she had in mind one man above all others, the famed former political cartoonist Larry Pickering.

Michelle Grattan found

 Her explanations were credible … This affair has been raked over sufficiently.

The chorus line at the ABC were singing from the same sheet, “Nothing to see here, folks, move along.”

But there is something to see here. Labor is owned and operated by the Unions for the Unions. The Thomson, Williamson scandal has shown that the internal affairs of Unions can be corrupt. The leader of the Labor party has had this to say

“It’s, it’s common practice, indeed every union has what it refers to as a re-election fund, slush fund, whatever, which is the funds that the leadership team, into which the leadership team puts money so that they can finance their next election campaign… “

and not “in the context of a casual and jovial conversation”, it was said in a formal interview with her seniors that concluded with her resignation from the law firm Slater and Gordon. Said after setting up a slush fund that was not used for its stated purpose or for a re-election campaign but as a means of diverting money extorted from building firms into the pockets of Union heavies.

So, refreshing to find a Fairfax piece having a better look at the Slush Puppy’s past deeds. But remember casual and jovial the conversation was not.

LOL I resign …

Mr. Williamson has resigned his position as HSU President … by text message, what a guy. It might have had something to do with the Temby report, which according to my ABC

… details salaries for Mr Williamson of almost $400,000 …

The report found the salary was not the only income Mr Williamson received from the union.

The union contracted a company belonging to him to provide IT services, and the report suggests the union was its only customer.

It was paid nearly $4.7 million from 2008 to 2011, and was located rent-free at the union’s offices in Sydney.

The report also alleges that five members of Mr Williamson’s family were among the union’s best paid employees.

It claimed his wife was given $350,000 to scan documents over a three-and-a-half year period.

The report also alleges a warehouse in Sydney, which was bought with union funds, appears to have been converted in to a recording studio to be used by Mr Williamson’s son for commercial benefit.

The report does not mention the former national secretary, Craig Thomson, except to say that he was seen as Mr Williamson’s protégé.

Makes you wonder if there are other unions paying scant regard to the expenditure of their members’ money.

Let’s shoot the whistleblower …

Whistles can be very distracting, they completely ruin the footy …

Kathy Jackson, was charged $40,882.16 by Toomey Pegg Lawyers between December and February to prepare her response to three minor findings against her in the draft report by Fair Work Australia.

When Fair Work Australia’s final report was released last week, two of the alleged breaches of the Registered Organisations Act against Ms Jackson had been dropped and she faced just one, concerning the failure to lodge a financial return in 2007 after she took over the union from the suspended MP, Craig Thomson.

Ms Jackson’s request for the union to pay her legal fees was rebuffed …

Ms Jackson said yesterday that she was ”very unhappy” about the decision, especially as the union had been picking up the legal fees of the suspended national president, Michael Williamson, and, until recently, the NSW ALP had footed the legal bill for Mr Thomson.

The Herald revealed yesterday that the low-paid members of the scandal-ridden union had so far paid about $150,000 to defend Mr Williamson, while Mr Thomson’s legal bills had reached $200,000.



The evidence …

The evidence is sometimes hard to find and in complex cases can be hard to sift through.

Mr. Williamson of the HSU perhaps did the police a couple of favours by taking a few documents with him as he left the office yesterday. Could well be the first documents they look at!

Meanwhile, in Canada, a tandem hang gliding instructor swallowed the video card after he dropped off his client. Sadly, he dropped her off at about 1000 feet above the ground. Her boyfriend bought the flight as a gift and was waiting his turn for a ride when he saw her fall. The ride is videoed as part of the deal.

Police say a series of X-rays have confirmed the memory card is still inside William Orders, who has been charged with obstructing justice. Court documents allege the 50-year-old swallowed the card that stored digital video of the flight, which could be crucial evidence in the death of his client . He is to remain in custody while the card passes through his body.

And then more sifting.

Corruption …

As it emerges that Mr. Williamson enjoyed yet another credit card, kindly paid for by a grandmother working part-time on his staff, I was reminded of the recent polished prose of Graham Richardson: firstly on Craig Thomson and then on Mr W.

To believe Thomson never visited the house of ill-repute that appears on his credit card statement, you would have to believe that a person unknown stole his credit card, forged his signature, stole his driver’s licence – a copy of which was appended to the credit card payment – and also stole his phone, which was used three times between the Central Coast and the city of Sydney to call the house on the day in question.

Further, you would have to believe that the credit card, the licence and the phone were all miraculously returned the next day.


“The NSW chief, Michael Williamson, has done particularly well for himself. Apart from being paid more than $300,000 a year, he has organised for companies in which he or other members of his family have the sole or controlling interest to supply IT services to the union and, now it has been revealed, secretarial services as well…”