A Hard Rains Gonna Fall

Posted: June 18, 2012 in HSU Saga, Politics

It was a cold and wet Tuesday night in NSW. Enough to dampen even the most enthusiastic of spirits.

On the Central coast, Craig Thomson sat down to a homemade vegetable risotto with his wife Zoe, and tried to stay positive. In Sydney, I was with my wife, Felicity, scouring our way through bank statements, looking for clues as to where the HSU members funds were being spent.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, Kathy Jackson, was being wined and dined by the Liberal Party’s elite. Kathy was the guest of honour, and key-note speaker at a HR Nicholl’s function.

I saw footage of some of Kathy’s speech, she sounded a little shaky, unsure of her words, almost like someone else had written her speech for her. On top of this, Kathy looked liked she had aged 10 years in the last 2 weeks, and I’m sure the bags under her eyes weren’t the type that are imported from Italy.

Her speech was the usual drivel you would expect from a union leader… an honour to be with a Liberal crowd, how awesome Tony Abbott’s policies are, that sort of thing.

Still, many said that it was great to see her dad looking so proud, sitting there next to her. He was beaming from ear to ear, some would say he looked smitten even, like the cat that swallowed the canary. Then they realised it was just Peter Reith, it was an easy mistake to make as nobody had ever seen Reith smile so much before.

The happy couple share a moment

Since then things have only gotten worse for Kathy. Her Federal Court Case is not going at all well, and the events in court on Friday are almost laughable. Unfortunately Federal Court is not the place for jokes, as it demeans the status of the court itself.

Probably the strangest part was when Kathy was seeking to once again have the case adjourned. Kathy presented the judge, Justice Flick with a psychiatrists certificate to justify the request, fair enough you would think. Alas, the certificate was not signed, making it useless, to add further insult, it was not even dated, needless to say Justice Flick was having none of it. Still, there were those in the court as spectators who were quietly impressed that it was not written in crayon.

Alas, this week is not going to be much better in Jacksonville, in fact things are likely to become worse, much worse.

For starters the Federal Court case is set to reach its finale on Thursday. Kathy looks to walk away from this with a red face and a massive legal bill. I hate to think how many fundraisers Alan Jones is going to have to do to sort this bill out.

Add to this, the Victorian Police investigation is starting to ramp up a notch. Even some elements of the media are starting to see through the well thought out, and meticulously planned, “that’s a bunch of crap” defense when it comes to the documents we have presented, and the questions they raise.

However, in order to ease the burden on Kathy, I have been able to answer one question myself.

Some of you may remember the letter acting secretary Peter Mylan sent to the Volvo dealer Kathy’s SUV came from. He was querying what happened to the approximately $5000 the HSU overpaid for the vehicle according to the invoice and payment amount signed off by Kathy.

Volvo Letter and Payment

Well, as you will see by the below documentation, I have solved this one. I have received a photocopy of the cheque and it is made out to cash. The dealer may not have even seen the extra money and therefore ignored Mylan’s letter. I still wonder where the missing $5,000 went though…

Volvo Cash Cheque

Anyway, many of you will remember Jeff Jackson, he is Kathy’s ex husband, and an ex secretary of HSU Branch 1. He is also the lovely bloke who likes to ski in his spare time, but does not like to work with people with disabilities, sacking those with Multiple Sclerosis.

Jeff Jackson Ski Club

Some of you my also remember Kathy Jackson saying that nobody other than Craig Thomson had spent union members money on prostitutes. She stated this in many interviews.

So what do they spend their money on? What important union business goes onto the union credit cards?

Luckily, approximately 3 years worth of credit card statements have landed in our laps, so we have been able to see for ourselves. The credit card belonged to Jeff Jackson, and is the card for HSU Branch number 1.

I have put a link below to a summary page which gives a breakdown of the amounts and types of transactions, and also a link to the 160 odd pages of the actual statement for those who wish to see for themselves.

Please note, the dates on this summary page are the dates the transaction went through at the bank, not the date the actual transaction took place, there is a delay due to bank notification and processing.

Jeff Jackson Card Summary

The total spend over this period is $128,321.94.

Still, at least it was on union business.

$9,898.35 at supermarkets and bottle shops. $9,185.86 on Homewares, including $1,025 at Bunnings. $1,600.06 on Foxtel, gee, I hope he got the adult channels for that price. Over $9,000 in Hong Kong and China. Over $29,000 in restaurants and bars, at least he didn’t go hungry. And, of course $2,410 in brothels.

Hang on. Brothels? Kathy said this didn’t happen, maybe it was just a one-off. Nope, it seems we have 6 separate visits to brothels charged to the members, including 2 visits to the brothel Thomson was accused of using.

Jeff Jackson Credit Card Details

Another spend on the statements the union members would be pleased with, is on the 21/04/04 for $240 at Loving Promises at Sydney Airport, a ladies lingerie store. I do hope that Kathy scrubbed up OK in whatever it was. I’m sure the members hope it was worth the spend. Then again maybe it was a present for one of Jeff’s friends in the red-light district, we may never know.

Jeff Jackson – What do you mean hookers aren’t a legitimate expense?

This is not the first time Jeff has been accused of running amok with union members funds either. As the document linked below shows, questions over Jeff’s spending have been raised for years.

Jeff has also tried to say that his travel on union funds was approved by the BCOM. We have been told by several sources that this is totally false, and as yet Jeff has been unable tp produce documentation, or minutes of meetings to support his claim.

I wonder if he also expects us to believe the BCOM also approved his Foxtel subscription and brothel visits.

Jeff Jackson Rorting Union Document

If you are a union member now, I cannot imagine how angry this must make you. To think that somebody you put so much trust in, someone who was supposed to be on your side would use your union funds as a personal bank account. Over $128,000 in 3 years, that is disgraceful.

At least you know that Jeff is gone now, and that this won’t happen again, right?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the statements for the 2 credit cards that Kathy Jackson uses, so we are unable to see what she spends the members money on. That would have been an interesting exercise.

The fact is, Kathy does not spend union money like Jeff, not at all. Kathy actually puts Jeff to shame…

While we do not have the statements for Kathy’s credit cards, we do have the statements for HSU Branch 3’s cheque account for a 2 year period. These have some things worth noting on them.

For starters, the repayments to Kathy’s 2 credit cards over a 2 year period were a mind-boggling $154,619.48. That is over $20,000 more than Jeff spent, but in one years less time.

I am quite sure the members, and the Victorian Police are going to be quite interested to hear what that was spent on. I hope you kept the statements Kathy, if not, don’t worry, I’m sure the administrator, or the next auditor can ask the bank for a copy.

Another thing that surprised me was the fluctuation in the wages bill. Up until May 2010 they were relatively similar, but by June 2010 they were more than double the usual.

Some would say that maybe more casuals were used, or maybe some bonuses were paid. However the number 3 branch was part of the merger on May 24, after that date there should be no wages bill for number 3 branch at all, instead we have over $110,000 coming out of the account as wages.

Below are links to the bank statements, and also a summary page of the credit cards and the wages taken from the account.

Kathy Jackson Credit Card Payments and Branch 3 wages

HSU 3 Branch Bank Statements

What bank statements? Kathy Jackson looking less than convincing

One of the most alarming things about the evidence we have uncovered, is that it was totally missed by the Fair Work Australia investigation.

Some would say that it is evidence of corruption, some would say it was proof of utter incompetence. Either way it is no wonder that both Michael Lawler, Kathy’s partner, and Terry Nassios, the lead investigator went on sudden “long leave” just as Craig Thomson gave his response in parliament.

Long Leave?

Fair Work Australia had 4 long years of investigation into the union, myself and Independent Australia have had a few weeks. FWA have had an investigative team at their disposal, we have had to rely on “wearing out the shoe leather” style of investigation.

It seems inconceivable to me that they managed to find what they did on Thomson, which has now been virtually cleared, but yet missed all the Jackson documentation. This makes me question whether this was a witch-hunt, and also question Michael Lawler’s influence and involvement in what direction the FWA investigation took.

It would appear to me that looking for evidence was a bit like the old “haystack scenario”. The investigators found the needle in the haystack with Thomson’s name on it, but failed to see the dancing elephant with the flashing lights on it marked “Jackson” next to the haystack.

Corruption or incompetence? I’ll let you make up your own mind.

Until a Judicial Inquiry is launched, we may never know.

But after all is said and done, at least we know Kathy is there for the staff. She would never turn her back on them, or offer them up on a silver platter.

On the day before the police raid, a raid that the police involved have allegedly referred to as a “Dummy” Kathy was there to boost staff morale. Kathy was reportedly taking photo’s of the staff in the lunchroom as they ate lunch, strange behavior indeed. Especially when you consider that she flew up from Melbourne for the occasion.

The next day, the surprise police raid that nobody knew was coming occurred. By sheer chance, Kathy was out the front at the time talking to the press who then stayed to watch the “Dummy” raid and take photo’s or film the staff as they left. As the office is in a skyscraper, it shows just how perceptive the press are these days that they knew exactly which people to film, almost like they had seen photographs from the day before. Quite amazing.

As things start to fall apart for the Jacksonville clan, Kathy and Jeff Jackson, and of course Michael Lawler, the Fair Work Australia connection, it is interesting to see friends back away.

The Coalition, in particular Tony Abbott, seem to be trying to distance themselves. It must be great to have a friend like Tony, singing your praises in parliament one day, and turning his back and running from you the next. All over some allegations of embezzlement.

Call it a hunch, but I think Tony Abbott is going to look back and regret 2 days in his past. The day he appointed Michael Lawler, and the day he sang the praises of Kathy Jackson in front of the world.

A storm is brewing, and I think everybody living in Jacksonville is going to get drenched…

    • Former union... (not HSU... And sadly... No hookers) says:

      Are you sure thommo was with his wife Zoe? Thomsonville sounds as dodgy as Jacksonville.

  1. andrew thomas says:

    OMG!!!! Just reviewed the 100 odd plus pages of credit card statements. I just cannot believe the arrogance and disconnect with reality for someone to think that the vast majority of these charges are OK. If as reported Kathy Jackson has lived in the UNREAL world of perceived entitlement at the UNION’s expense since 1992, one can imagine the contents of her credit card statement. This is just truly breathtaking stuff. The real world without credit card, phone car etc etc etc must be biting hard. Thank you Wixxy!!! From a casual click some two months ago I have discovered the alternative press in Aus through your work. I have had faith restored and am spreading the word. Huge respect to you and congrats on your tenacity, resolve and misson. Andrew

  2. chantal says:

    This is nothing short of a racket surely? . The breach of fiduciary duties and trust of holding members cash & assets & general governance was a sham in this place. Is that what the HR Nicholls piece of puffery was about ? anchoring the next gig for KJ ? and getting the Jackson’s shameless spending and closed shop off their collective chests? ASIC would have surely thrown the book at this apalling mismanagement .Hats off , for doing the hard yards Wixxy & co .

    “From beginning to end, the Health Services Union affair has been marked most notably by the extent to which most of its principal protagonists have missed the point. It’s not about Craig Thomson. It’s not about the survival of the Gillard Government. It’s not about the ALP, or the struggle for supremacy within the union itself, with its Byzantine maze of poisonous tunnels and interconnections. To a large extent, it doesn’t even matter who was there at the brothel, or whether there was (excuse me) a second shooter.

    The point of the HSU affair – and its most galling scandal – is that a large number of poorly paid workers have systematically been fleeced, over a period of time, by people who were supposed to look after them.” Annabel Crabb quoted from the drum column.

    • Sue says:

      Annabel Crabb!! She probably is most concerned about the “poorly paid workers, systematically fleeced” but as a senior political journalist, has she done ANY investigation of this matter OR Just followed the msm pack. What an insult to this site to quote from the Drum Column.

      • Mischelle says:

        Exactly what I was thinking Sue..the Drum with regular Peter Reith? It just gets worse by the day..The MSM is Australia’s version of Fox Newz America and the nation is dumbed down daily..I live in fear of an Abbott Gvt.:(

  3. Marilyn says:

    Amazing how they used Craig Thomson as the scapegoat when it is increasingly clear he was the innocent party.

    • pete says:

      banging hookers on Union money is innocent? really? just where do you get this info Marilyn?

      • wixxy says:

        Pete, you are right, banging hookers on union Money is not right at all.
        It is worth remembering though, this has been totally dismissed by 8 investigations. The only resaon it is still talked about is due to Craigs defamation case against Fairfax

  4. WatsonGirlsDad says:

    Hi Peter

    Is it a little odd that certain credit cards are with the Bendigo bank and the statements do not appear to have a specific persons name on it. The alleged Craig Thomson credit card statement (as seen on ACA) is with the Commonwealth Bank and specifically has his name on it ??? I note the cheque made out to cash is also with the CBA.

    Not suggesting that maintaining two banks is illegal – but strange from an admin perspective don’t you think ??

  5. “Even some elements of the media are starting to see through the well thought out, and meticulously planned, “that’s a bunch of crap” defense when it comes to the documents we have presented, and the questions they raise.” What elements of the media would they be? I can’t find them. Keep punching.

  6. Sue says:

    I hope certain people are not on “long leave” organising assets so that “persons” can be declared bankrupt and the members lose all hope of getting back any funds stolen from the union.

    I always remember poor old Bondy, at his best, “forgot” where all Bond corp assets went, then after a stint in gaol and relaunch of his corporate life, wrote his memoirs. I can see Kathy catching the same affliction as Bondy, as evidenced by her whipping away a medical certificate from her doctor before the doctor had signed and dated it. So forgetful of her.

  7. Sue says:

    Re the wages in may/june 2010. Did some staff lose their jobs? if so, could be leave payout or redundancy payments

  8. Sue says:

    re last post, i mean at the time of the merger – if staff lost their jobs, could be payouts

  9. Lizzie says:

    Sue, nobody lost their jobs, and when one or two did take redundancy it came from the HSUeast coffers not Vic 3. I’m thinking Vic 3 had a singular beneficiary.

  10. tibor says:

    Bloody good stuff! Please keep it up, you are an inspiration and such a well needed breath of fresh air.

  11. BSA Bob says:

    Nothing about Thomson (or Slipper) on tonight’s tabloid & ABC1 news so I deduced, correctly as it turns out, that things aren’t going well for their assailants. Even Emma on Lateline didn’t ask a question. You’re doing great work here.

  12. Marilyn says:

    Well it seems the Ashby boy has been a very naughty boy.

  13. deknarf says:

    Keep up the good work wixxy. Eventually even the biased mass media in this country is going to have to deal with this. The stench just gets stenchier!

  14. mafalda says:

    Well done Peter and your wife – keep up the good work.

  15. tom says:

    IA is the best thing that happened in a long while. I am looking forward to more.


  16. @TatteredRemnant says:

    With 100s of thousands of $ spent on credit cards, has anyone asked who gets the frequent flyer points? I’m sure it’s small potatoes compared to he other graft but with that sort of cash being transacted they would ad up.

  17. Lachlan Ridge says:

    If Peter Wicks does not win a Walkley for this effort then mainstream journalists are finished, kaput, end-of-the-road, goneski, and it is all over bar the shouting for every primped up wannabe that thinks they can use journalism as a mirror for the vanities, a la that useless droog Annabelle Crabb and other clowns like Michael Brissenden and that carpetbagger Kohler, to name but a few.

    Peter Wicks is the tipping point. I no longer visit the mainsteram media. What’s the point? Weather direct from BOM, sport from message boards (often with better r/t coverage) and real news from real bloggers.

    I hope everyone reading this is forwarding it on to their friends. Like Andrew Thomas above, I too have had an epiphany and now want no part of the press gallery Kool Aid. Gina Reinhart can buy a hundred Fairfax’s for all I care. Doesn’t bother me. I won’t be reading them.

  18. wm says:

    Whats the story with the MSM? Are they scared of being sued? Surely not.


    “After all, it wasn’t a blogger who broke the story of Craig Thomson and problems within the Health Services Union (although some bloggers are now pursuing it; I’d provide links except for the potential defamation costs at the other end of the click-through).”

  19. The bull says:

    Can’t see any criminal charges arising for KJ unfortunately. Most rorting offences are predicated on obtaining financial benefit by deception. If the HSU rules did not require deception in order to rort then there’s no offence. Doesn’t make what she’s alleged to have done right of course. She will it seems escape the public humiliation she helped heap on Thomson and Williamson unless msm get on to the allegations in the same way they did for those two. The only consolation is that she will be hoist on her own petard if Flick makes the current interim orders permanent and demerges the Vic HSU. Then she will be out of the HSUeast executive and will need to face elections in Vic. In a just world she will be rejected.

  20. Lizzie says:

    To the bull:

    What about the $22k sent for legal fees to Hong Kong that was never received, if this comes out to be deposited into an account of KJ’s is that not illegal (fraud I believe). And the other suggestions that money was put through accounts such as Governing Ethics and taken back out, that is money laundering from what I have been told. So you may not be correct. No question, just pointing to a couple of issues.

  21. Lizzie says:

    Apparently everything Pete has uncovered looks dodgy? Check out her comments………..

    eithne ‏@eithne52
    @MrPkD 🙂 I made the mistake of asking another q’n about Wixxy alleg’ns that cldn’t b answered – thus these responses fr @2FBS @madwixxy :/

  22. The bull says:

    I was thinking more of the alleged liberties taken with the credit cards Lizzie. She might be vulnerable on other counts. But you might note that KJ regularly claims her expenditures were ‘approved’ and challenges her accusers to take their allegations to the police. This may be less a declaration of honesty than an indication that she’s been well tutored in her legal standing with respect to the criminal law. If the allegations against her are true it would make her a terrible hypocrite. But hypocrisy is not a criminal offence.

  23. Marilyn says:

    What truly still astonishes me is that the whole beat up of Craig Thomson was based only on a letter written by Jackson and one very strange discredited credit card slip.

    And the MSM still blindly think they have done their jobs.

    No-one should ever rely on one source without primary documents.

    Even the Australian did claim in April 2009 that Jeff Jackson was accused of using hookers.

  24. SG Warren says:

    According to this Ben Elthem Piece on the Drum ( http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4084362.html ) Eric Beecher (who is a part owner of Crikey) is also Alan Kohler’s business partner in the company Australian Independent Business Media (the shell company that owns the Business Spectator and the Eureka Report).

    Australian Independent Business Media was just acquired by News Limited Australia.

    I wonder what the correlation to this buy-out and Andrew Crooks published comments about you is. Could a News Limited acquisition of Crikey be on the cards?

    • wixxy says:

      Geez, that is interesting indeed, we need a new online daily news site I think…. I should start one maybe.., need more hours in the day 🙂

  25. Kimward says:

    Did I hear correct tonight on our ABC following an item about the HSU Kathy Jackson Craig Thomson, Chris Ullman claimed that Abbott if elected next year will launch an enquiry into unions and the labour movements relationship with the ALP?

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