HSU investigation could lay charges

Union leader Michael Williamson,leaving his Maroubra home this morning , allegedly received and misused a credit card provided by a graphic design company along with labor mp Craig Thompsonsmh newsphotos Ben RushtonFriday September 9 2011

Union officeholder … Michael Williamson. Photo: Ben Rushton

ANY administrator appointed to oversee the besieged Health Services Union could have the power to investigate and lay charges against former office holders, such as the national president Michael Williamson, and to claw back ”misappropriated funds”, Federal Court proceedings have revealed.

The revelations came during the hearing to determine whether the HSU East branch should be stripped of its office holders because of the dispute between two opposing factions led by the national secretary Kathy Jackson and Mr Williamson.

The NSW Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, and acting HSU national president, Chris Brown, are arguing in the Federal Court that the union branch’s hierarchy has become so dysfunctional that an administrator must be appointed to restore credibility and oversee the election of new office holders.

Yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Flick asked counsel for Mr Pearce whether an administrator would have the power to lay charges against union office holders including ”persons subject to allegations in the more distant past”.

”There would still be power to lay charges against them if they remain members [of the union]?” Justice Flick asked.

”Yes,” counsel for Mr Pearce, Richard Lancaster, SC, replied.

Among those potentially affected by this power is Mr Williamson who was, until recently, the general secretary of HSU East.

He has been caught up in the web of wrong-doing identified in the interim report of Ian Temby, QC.

It has also been alleged by Ms Jackson that Mr Williamson was involved in receiving secret commissions and that, as the director of a company with a $1 million contract with the union, he had a conflict of interest.

Mr Williamson strenuously denies these allegations.

It is unlikely that Labor MP Craig Thomson would come under the scrutiny of the administrator because he has not been an office holder of HSU East.

Earlier in the proceedings, Justice Flick said it was outrageous that union officials had apparently failed to recover funds that had allegedly been misappropriated from members.

”It is almost unfathomable to understand why an investigation has not been internally conducted to see if there is any substance to the allegations.”

Justice Flick foreshadowed the possibility that an administrator would have the power to commence proceedings to claw back such funds.

The administrator could be guided by the Temby report which found that the union lacked sufficient checks and balances in relation to funds.

The hearing continues, with the parties expected to finish their submissions today.

with AAP

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HSU investigation could lay charges

Union officeholder … Michael Williamson. Photo: Ben Rushton

ANY administrator appointed to oversee the besieged Health Services Union could have the power to investigate and lay charges against former office holders, such as the national president Michael Williamson, and to claw back ”misappropriated funds”, Federal Court proceedings have revealed.

The revelations came during the hearing to determine whether the HSU East branch should be stripped of its office holders because of the dispute between two opposing factions led by the national secretary Kathy Jackson and Mr Williamson.

The NSW Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, and acting HSU national president, Chris Brown, are arguing in the Federal Court that the union branch’s hierarchy has become so dysfunctional that an administrator must be appointed to restore credibility and oversee the election of new office holders.

Yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Flick asked counsel for Mr Pearce whether an administrator would have the power to lay charges against union office holders including ”persons subject to allegations in the more distant past”.

”There would still be power to lay charges against them if they remain members [of the union]?” Justice Flick asked.

”Yes,” counsel for Mr Pearce, Richard Lancaster, SC, replied.

Among those potentially affected by this power is Mr Williamson who was, until recently, the general secretary of HSU East.

He has been caught up in the web of wrong-doing identified in the interim report of Ian Temby, QC.

It has also been alleged by Ms Jackson that Mr Williamson was involved in receiving secret commissions and that, as the director of a company with a $1 million contract with the union, he had a conflict of interest.

Mr Williamson strenuously denies these allegations.

It is unlikely that Labor MP Craig Thomson would come under the scrutiny of the administrator because he has not been an office holder of HSU East.

Earlier in the proceedings, Justice Flick said it was outrageous that union officials had apparently failed to recover funds that had allegedly been misappropriated from members.

”It is almost unfathomable to understand why an investigation has not been internally conducted to see if there is any substance to the allegations.”

Justice Flick foreshadowed the possibility that an administrator would have the power to commence proceedings to claw back such funds.

The administrator could be guided by the Temby report which found that the union lacked sufficient checks and balances in relation to funds.

The hearing continues, with the parties expected to finish their submissions today.

with AAP

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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