More to come, she has sought legal advice, sounds like she has been caught out, good enough for Craig Thompson good enough for her I say, but this is the tip of the iceberg regarding Kathy Jackson’s spending and use of union funds. An endless pot of gold as we already know used by many is seems . I will link all the other threads on this mob I have published here shortly. very happy update 19/08/15
Kathy Jackson exposed as a thief, liar and hypocrite of the highest order
Kathy Jackson. Photo: Jason South
Kathy Jackson has been exposed. As a thief, a liar and a hypocrite of the highest order after the judgment against her of $1.4 million.
Just 18 months ago, Jackson received a rare apology from the House of Representatives as she was lauded by Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne as a “lion of the union movement”.
The apology was to Jackson and others defamed in a 2012 speech delivered by former federal MP and Health Services Union leader Craig Thomson. Even Labor leader, and the one-time friend of Jackson, Bill Shorten supported that apology.
That’s how untouchable she was, the “whistleblower” who had exposed a one-time Labor national president Michael Williamson and helped send him to jail for his crimes.
Many in the labour movement were deeply suspicious of Jackson being portrayed as a “whistleblower”. Their instincts and inside knowledge were right.
Jackson was a crook of a scale far in excess of Craig Thomson, whose spending on prostitutes were wonderful fodder against a Gillard government who needed his vote to hang on.
But Jackson, who helped amplify the crisis around Thomson, was harbouring some secrets of her own. As the Federal Court decision on Wednesday shows, for many years she had been systematically stealing from the HSU including on a lavish personal lifestyle.
The judgment by Richard Tracey is largely symbolic as Jackson, in her latest move to avoid justice, declared bankruptcy just before her civil trial was to begin in July.
But the decision is important for the HSU and its new national secretary, Chris Brown, as they try repair the union’s soiled reputation and its important role as a voice and advocate for low-paid health workers.
Jackson may not have to pay back the money she has stolen but it is far from over for her.
A joint Victoria and Federal Police taskforce, connected to the royal commission into union corruption, is probing Jackson for widespread fraud and theft. They will be watching Justice Tracey’s decision closely.
The taskforce’s inquiries have been extensive and it has been keenly interested in a $250,000 payment from the Peter MacCallum cancer hospital to Jackson’s old union in 2003.
They want to know if that payment was a bribe to help settle a back-dispute and what she did with all the money from the hospital.
The civil trial has also revealed the full extent of Jackson’s spending on credit cards and the hundreds of thousands drawn out in cash from the HSU.
While civil trials have a lower burden of proof than criminal inquiries, there has to be a real chance now that one day Jackson will join her old HSU comrade Michael Williamson behind bars.
Kathy Jackson ordered to pay $1.4m in compensation to HSU
Former Health Services Union (HSU) boss Kathy Jackson has been ordered to pay $1.4 million in compensation to the union for misappropriating funds.
The union sued Ms Jackson in the Federal Court, alleging she had set up a slush fund with the proceeds of a union settlement with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.
They alleged she then funnelled the money into an opulent lifestyle, including significant cash withdrawals, luxury goods, valuable artwork and fine wine and dining.
She was also accused of spending up to $100,000 of HSU money on her divorce from former union figure Jeff Jackson.
She declared bankruptcy just before the Federal Court trial last month and chose not to attend.
Lawyers for the HSU said the misappropriated money was siphoned out of the National Health Development Account, set up by Ms Jackson, and that contrary to her claims, there was no evidence that all branches contributed for researching and campaigning purposesomments.
Funds used for lavish lifestyle
They said the only source of funds for the account came from Ms Jackson’s Victorian HSU East branch.
In one example given to the court by HSU lawyers, Ms Jackson was accused of taking $8,000 out of the account, giving 10 people at a branch meeting $100 each, and pocketing the rest.
The court also heard Ms Jackson claimed she was allowed $55,000 in entitlements each year on top of her six-figure salary when she was national secretary of the union, but the union claimed it had no evidence of such an arrangement.
The trial, heard last month, was also told there was evidence Ms Jackson had withdrawn considerable funds from union accounts while in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Washington and Heathrow Airport in London.
She was also accused of using the money to pay for business-class airfares for her daughter to France, shopping trips to department stores Myer and David Jones and the Costco supermarket, and a single $14,000 dinner bill for exclusive Melbourne restaurant Fenix.
The court heard Ms Jackson was never popularly elected to any of the positions she held in the HSU.
She succeeded Craig Thomson as national secretary when he entered the Federal Parliament as a Labor MP for the NSW central coast, and famously blew the whistle on his misappropriation of union funds.
He was found guilty last year of 13 theft charges and also has a current HSU lawsuit against him before the Federal Court.
The court was told Ms Jackson continued to make significant withdrawals from the alleged slush fund after she lost her union authority when administrators moved in to take over in 2012.
Jackson declared bankruptcy, did not attend trial
The total lawsuit brought by the HSU against Ms Jackson is worth $2.5 million.
Ms Jackson tried without success to have the civil trial against her abandoned, telling the court in October last year she was too mentally unwell to defend herself.
She later accused Australia’s senior unions of deliberately conspiring to destroy her “physically, emotionally and financially” as a result of blowing the whistle on Mr Thomson, a move her lawyer said “could have assisted in the downfall of the Labor Gillard government”, he lawyer told the court in June.
“They hate her … the senior unions in Australia were out to get my client and they got her good,” he told the court.
When that failed to dissuade the court from proceeding with the trial, Ms Jackson declared bankruptcy.
Her lawyer withdrew from the case, meaning she was unrepresented.
She chose not to attend her Federal Court trial.
Ms Jackson’s partner – Fair Work commissioner Michael Lawler – has also been drawn into the controversy.
In an affidavit tendered the court in June, Mr Lawler wrote that he and Ms Jackson had spent time in mental health units because of the “enormous and sustained personal stress”.
“I have been the subject of a concerted campaign of malicious attacks,” he wrote.
“I am not going anywhere. I occupy an office that I intend to continue, having devoted more than a decade of service.”
Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption and Governance has also recommended Ms Jackson be charged with criminal offences.
Kathy Jackson, former Health Services Union national secretary, declares bankruptcy
Former national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) Kathy Jackson has declared bankruptcy as she faces a $2.5-million lawsuit for allegedly misappropriating union funds.
The HSU is suing Ms Jackson after accusing her of misappropriating more than $1.3 million of its funds.
The case, being heard in the Federal Court, centres on allegations she misused her union credit card to buy clothes and pay for meals and holidays, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of expenses.
Ms Jackson’s lawyer previously told the court the expenditures were authorised but the union lost or destroyed the evidence.
Federal Court Judge Richard Tracey today asked the union what might be achieved by pursuing Ms Jackson now she had declared bankruptcy.
Mark Irving SC, counsel for the HSU, response was Ms Jackson had $278,000 in equity two weeks ago and asked to see the documentation to support the bankruptcy claim.
He said the union was now seeking $2.5 million from Ms Jackson, including costs and interest.
Ms Jackson was due to face the court today by video link from Sydney but did not appear.
The trial was previously delayed due to concerns over Ms Jackson’s mental health.
Last week, she applied to have the case thrown out on the grounds she was being targeted and attacked by senior Labor figures as payback for blowing the whistle on former federal MP Craig Thomson.
The trial was adjourned until Friday to allow for the trustee overseeing her bankruptcy to seek legal advice.
Jackson’s partner ‘subjected to malicious attacks’
The Federal Court released affidavits from Ms Jackson and her partner Michael Lawler.
In her affidavit, dated June 22, 2015, Ms Jackson declared her net assets were $278,683.
It claimed her assets were her Wombarra property (valued at $1.3 million), a 2005 model Mercedes (valued at $15,000), bank accounts containing less than $2,000 and an engagement ring worth $20,000.
Ms Jackson wrote that she agreed to sell her share of the house to Mr Lawler to fund her ongoing legal fees, but that the sale was frozen by the court.
Her partner Mr Lawler is a Fair Work Commissioner and in his affidavit, dated June 24, 2015, stated he was “acutely embarrassed” by the current proceedings.
“Since September 2011, Ms Jackson’s enemies have been astute to seek to involve me publicly in relation to affairs affecting her, at every available opportunity,” he said.
“I have been the subjected (sic) of a concerted campaign of malicious attacks in the pages of The Australian.
“I say that each of the serious imputations of wrongdoing in that series of articles is false.”
Jackson ‘spent time in mental health unit’
Mr Lawler wrote that both he and Ms Jackson spent time as in patients in mental health units, due to the “enormous and sustained personal stress”.
He also stated he was the subject of attacks from within the Fair Work Tribunal.
“I am not going anywhere. I occupy an office that I intend to continue, having devoted more than a decade of service,” Mr Lawler said.
In her affidavit, Ms Jackson also wrote that a fire at her Wombarra home in January this year was deliberately lit and that police did not investigate it.
“The NSW Police did not interview or take statements from any of the occupants … or the other relevant witnesses,” she said.
She wrote that there were similarities between the fire at her home, and a fire at another union figure’s house.
“A fire was set against the side of her house in the early hours of the morning and only fortuitously discovered by her son who happened to leave the house before the fire could take hold,” Ms Jackson said.
HSU boss complains of ‘ambush’ at inquiry
21 MINUTES AGO JULY 30, 2014
UNION whistleblower Kathy Jackson says she was “ambushed” by evidence showing she gave $50,000 from a union slush fund to her ex-husband and has sought to halt a corruption inquiry while she gets legal advice.
MS Jackson, the now national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU), was confronted with a bank withdrawal slip for $50,000 bearing her signature in new evidence presented on Wednesday at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
A bank cheque for the same amount was made out to her former husband, HSU official Jeff Jackson, on the same day.
HSU whistleblower Kathy Jackson says she is being ‘ambushed’
Ms Jackson said she was being ambushed and wants to seek legal advice.
The hearing has been exploring the National Health Development Account set up by Ms Jackson in 2003.
The fund received payments of up to $280,000 from a Victorian branch of the HSU.
Ms Jackson was questioned at the hearing about why she gave her ex-husband Jeff Jackson $50,000 from the account as a gift.
Slush funds linked to Kathy Jackson
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Royal Commission into union governance has been sent documents which allegedly link union official and whistleblower Kathy Jackson to an account claimed to be a slush fund.
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: With the Royal commission into Union Governance underway, documents have allegedly linked prominent union official and whistleblower Kathy Jackson to an account which it’s claimed was a slush fund. Officials say they’ve uncovered a number of accounting irregularities during Ms Jackson’s time at helm of the union. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: The Victorian Health Services Union branch number three now calls itself the Victorian Health Professionals Association in an effort to break with the past. The branch was led by Kathy Jackson from 1997 to 2010.
CRAIG MCGREGOR, VICTORIAN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ASSOC.: She was the sole elected official in the branch and had complete financial oversight of the branch.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Union records sent to the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption show $284,000 was transferred to something called the National Health Development Account between 2004 and 2010.
There’s no accusation against Ms Jackson for misusing the funds, but critics say they don’t know what the account was for.
CRAIG MCGREGOR: Now this is a little opaque to us. It’s an unincorporated association. We’ve got confirmation on that. But in terms of what the account was set up for, we don’t have any paperwork dealing with that, we don’t know what the money was used for at all, only that it was taken from members’ funds and taken out of the union.
BILL SHORTEN, OPPOSITION LEADER: When people speculate about these things, it’s probably not going to help matters. Let’s see what the Royal commission does.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: It’s claimed the money ended up being used to fund political campaigns for union and Labor candidates aligned with Ms Jackson, including the Australian Workers Union.
ALP leader Bill Shorten, who once headed the AWU, has full confidence in the Royal commission.
BILL SHORTEN: Labor will cooperate with the Royal commission. We believe that there should be the best possible standards in workplace relations. Labor has no place for any criminality or corrupt behaviour.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: In documents lodged with Fair Work Australia, the industrial umpire repeatedly asks Ms Jackson for additional information regarding donations and expenditure by HSU Three. 2005 accounting records show an expense of $20,000 to the National Health Development Account. In the following year’s return, it couldn’t be found in the record.
CRAIG MCGREGOR: We’ve uncovered a range of other financial practices that I would say are – look, it’s certainly not up to what I would consider to be scratch.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Lateline approached Kathy Jackson for comment as well as people named as receiving donations from the National Health Development Account. No-one was available.
Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.
Kathy Jackson to take stand at royal commission into union corruption
Nick Grimm reported this story on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:14:00
TANYA NOLAN: The union official Kathy Jackson, who blew the whistle on corruption within her own union, will today face questions about her own alleged misuse of funds.
Ms Jackson has taken the stand at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption.
She was responsible for raising concerns about corrupt practices within the Health Services Union, involving former Labor MP Craig Thomson.
Nick Grimm is at the royal commission.
Nick, what was the substance of Kathy Jackson’s evidence to the commission so far?
NICK GRIMM: Tanya, so far she’s been asked about the processes that she went through to blow the whistle on the activities of Craig Thomson, who you mentioned, the former Labor MP, and also Michael Williamson who was national president of the union. Now, both those men have been convicted of misusing members’ funds. Michael Williamson is currently serving a prison sentence for that conviction. Craig Thomson is on bail pending an appeal.
Now, Kathy Jackson today has told how she first began having concerns about Craig Thomson’s use of a union credit card back in 2007 and then later she began to have suspicions about the union’s national president and agonised over what to do about it because, as she’s explained it, he was a very powerful figure within the union and the ALP. At one stage he was national president of the ALP.
Now, she’s explained that her suspicions about him were raised as a result of what she described as his lavish millionaire’s lifestyle, the lifestyle that she told the royal commission couldn’t be explained by his income from the union.
On one occasion in fact, she and her family were invited to visit his holiday home at Lake Macquarie on the New South Wales central coast, which she described as palatial with views that couldn’t be built out because Mr Williamson had also bought the property next door.
Let’s have a listen to her account of her visit to his home.
KATHY JACKSON: Once I visited his house it became quite evident to me that this was not just your average holiday home that most ordinary Australians would own. It was quite palatial. There was very expensive fittings to the home, stereo systems.
And I remember sitting out on the back deck – and there other officials of the Health Services Union there at the time as well, it was a working meeting – I remember saying to him, ’cause it’s on the lake, and I remember saying to him, you know, you’ve got a great view here, what happens if somebody blocks you out and he said oh don’t worry about that. We’ve bought the place next door as well.
TANYA NOLAN: Kathy Jackson speaking there.
Well, Nick, what are the allegations surrounding her own alleged misuse of union member money?
NICK GRIMM: Yeah, there hasn’t been any evidence taken on that directly just yet, Tanya. The evidence has been dealing with the matters to do with her efforts to uncover the corruption of figures like Williamson and Craig Thomson but Kathy Jackson has suggested that the claims that have been made about her own use of slush funds and misuse of members’ funds were all part of a get square by her enemies within the union and the Labor Party.
She’s been telling about the effect that reporting the corruption to police, what that had on her, and that she was subjected to enormous stress and abuse as a result. On one occasion she was woken one night to a loud bang and found a shovel had been left on her doorstep. She said that she was quite hysterical as a result of that because she took that as a threat.
On other occasions she was called a Labor rat who was doing the work of the Liberal Party and trying to bring down the Labor government. She was even called a Liberal Party prostitute, she said.
At one stage she also became quite emotional as she gave an account of how she suffered a breakdown and had to be involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital and put on anti-psychotic medication, something that she blames entirely on her opponents in the union and the ALP.
As for those other allegations that have been raised about her in the media recently and here at the royal commission, she suggests it’s all part of a campaign to discredit her.
Let’s have a listen to some of what she’s had to say along those lines.
KATHY JACKSON: So I went to the police and the police would see it as one union official making an allegation against another union official and I had no confidence that my allegations would be taken seriously.
And at that point the opportunity would be given to Williamson and co. to execute me at that point – when I mean execute me I mean to totally destroy me, my political career in the union movement, which they’ve done quite successfully, regardless of whether I’m telling, you know, I’m here telling the truth.
I’ve always told the truth and here I am, you know, as a target, not by the membership, but more importantly a target by the media because they want to have their story told, because it suits their purposes, but a target by the ALP and the Labor movement, which I knew would happen but I never thought it was going to happen this badly.
TANYA NOLAN: That’s Health Services Union official Kathy Jackson giving evidence there.
Nick, how long do we expect her to be in the witness box?
NICK GRIMM: She’s expected to continue giving her evidence throughout today. At this stage it’s not certain when her evidence is going to wrap up but we are not anticipating that it’s going to go into tomorrow.
We then understand two more as yet unnamed witnesses are going to be called to briefly give evidence tomorrow then the matter will wrap up for the week and further hearings are expected some time down the track.
I might just add that none of the witnesses have been cross-examined on their evidence so far, suggesting that they may all well be called to give further evidence about these matters at a later date.
TANYA NOLAN: Our reporter at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption, Nick Grimm, thank you.
Kathy Jackson describes union branch-stacking, slush funds, and cover ups
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Health Services Union’s self-styled whistleblower, Kathy Jackson, claims more than a million dollars of funds were spent on branch-stacking, personal expenses and prostitutes.
SARAH FERGUSON, PRESENTER: Branch stacking, slush funds, lavish credit card bills and cover-ups. This week, there’ve been more claims about the sordid goings-on within one of the unions at the centre of the Royal commission into union corruption.
The Health Services Union represents some of the most poorly-paid workers in the country, yet more than a million dollars of their funds have been squandered on branch stacking and personal expenses.
The self-styled whistleblower who exposed this was Kathy Jackson, the national secretary of the HSU. Today Ms Jackson took the stand for the second day to rebut similar allegations levelled against her.
Matt Peacock reports.
KATHY JACKSON, NATIONAL SECRETARY, HSU: The media should be big enough to tell the public that they got it wrong. …
… It’s not a witch hunt. If anything, it’s a vampire hunt.
MATT PEACOCK, REPORTER: She’s the self-styled corruption buster who went public to expose fraud and misconduct in the Health Services Union.
KATHY JACKSON (Aug. 2011): Anyone in our organisation who misuses union money, be it for, you know, prostitution services or other unauthorised services, has committed a crime.
TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER: This is someone who has stood up for what’s right.
MATT PEACOCK: For the past three years, the current national secretary of the Health Services Union campaigned to expose how her predecessor, Labor MP Craig Thomson, spent union funds on prostitutes and how the union’s former national president, Michael Williamson, rorted more than $1 million of the union’s funds.
Williamson’s now serving a 7.5 year jail term. Thomson got 12 months, but he’s appealing.
KATHY JACKSON: My concern is those people are still there, people that weren’t prepared to stand up and support the rank-and-file membership and that’s why we look forward to a Royal commission.
MATT PEACOCK: Now it’s Kathy Jackson herself who’s facing allegations at the Royal commission into union corruption about questionable payments.
JEREMY STOLJAR, COUNSEL ASSISTING: It is alleged these payments were not authorised by the BCOM and were not properly disclosed in the financial accounts provided to Fair Work Australia. Ms Jackson used $1 million in members’ funds to pay off two personal credit cards between 2000 and 2011. Ms Jackson withdrew approximately $220,000 in cash using an HSU – using HSU bank cheques between 2007 to 2010. And Ms Jackson had some involvement in a slush fund allegedly operating out of or through a company called Neranto No. 10.
JOURNALIST: Is this all part of this get square?
KATHY JACKSON: Yeah, yeah.
JOURNALIST: The whole lot?
KATHY JACKSON: The whole lot. Every single piece of it.
JOURNALIST: Does it feel like a double get square at the Government and your HSU enemies?
KATHY JACKSON: Of course!
JOURNALIST II: Because you’re adamant you’ve done nothing wrong.
KATHY JACKSON: No. I’ve got nothing to hide.
MATT PEACOCK: HSU members are amongst the poorest paid workers in the country. Their officials, including Kathy Jackson, have been amongst the highest paid.
KATHY JACKSON: Michael Williamson did introduce higher rates of pay and my salary did go to $270,000. That was not of my making.
MATT PEACOCK: The commission heard how in 2003 a settlement for underpaid cancer researchers with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre saw $250,000 paid into a union slush fund – the National Health Development Account controlled by Kathy Jackson – money the union is now suing to get back.
CRAIG MCGREGOR, VICTORIAN BRANCH 3, HSU: Well if it’s an underpayment to members, the members should have received the money, I believe.
KATHY JACKSON: The members got their entitlements. The union in their own right sought penalties against their employer for their breaches and the union got a settlement in relation to those breaches. The union did not take members’ money.
MATT PEACOCK: Jackson claims all her payments from credit cards and union accounts were duly authorised. The problem is, some of these records have gone missing.
KATHY JACKSON: Those documents were taken out of my office by my enemies. I wish those records were there. We heard evidence from the auditor of the organisation. They saw the minutes, they saw the approvals.
MATT PEACOCK: And how was her union slush fund used? Jackson gave the commission an example how she joined the then Australian Workers Union secretary Bill Shorten in financing a Labor Party branch stack. She donated $7,000. Bill Shorten’s denied it.
Do you regret that now, that you were involved in what’s seen by most members of the public as a fairly corrupt play?
KATHY JACKSON: Well, corrupt’s going – it’s a bridge too far. As far as I was concerned, and as far as the Branch Committee of Management was concerned, that money had been earmarked as their honorarium and they could spend that money as they wished.
MATT PEACOCK: You said today that most members of the public wouldn’t approve this behaviour and yet you did it. Do you regret that now?
KATHY JACKSON: It’s not about regretting it. What I say to that is: this is how you play the game. This is how you do business within the union movement and the ALP. Whether I regret it or not – of course I regret it, of course I regret it. It’s not about regret because of my personal situation, it’s regret because this is how the system makes you behave.
MATT PEACOCK: Jackson told the commission she’d become a Labor pariah subject to malicious litigation and smears that caused a nervous breakdown.
KATHY JACKSON: I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. I had never been under such immense pressure or stress in my whole life. That stress, I say, was caused entirely by the actions of not just the HSU East, but the actions of the national executive, the actions of the Labor Party movement at large.
MATT PEACOCK: Jackson critics like Craig McGregor now want her evidence to be cross-examined.
CRAIG MCGREGOR: Witnesses will be cross-examined in the coming period and we’ll see what falls out of that.
MATT PEACOCK: But that day in court may never come. Under this commission’s procedures, Kathy Jackson will only be cross-examined if Commissioner Dyson Heydon decides there’s sufficient contrary evidence to justify it.
SARAH FERGUSON: Matt Peacock reporting.