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Sentencing: A Heavy Penalty Befits Craig Thomson

The Red And The Blue

FOLLOWING PRE-SENTENCE SUBMISSIONS in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today, former Health Services Union head and disgraced Labor MP Craig Thomson is to be sentenced next Tuesday, having been convicted recently on 65 theft and dishonesty charges stemming from his time in charge of the union. The cavalier Thomson — who has shown no remorse, and thumbed his nose at attempts to bring him to justice — deserves a heavy penalty.

For fairly obvious reasons, I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of next week’s sentencing hearing, nor particularise what I think an appropriate penalty for the criminal sins of Craig Robert Thomson, other than to say that in the circumstances I think it fair that Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg would be justified in throwing the proverbial book at the bastard, and should indeed do precisely that.

I do think Thomson should be jailed, if only to make an example of him…

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17 Comments

  1. GD says:

    Looking back through the archives, it’s funny and at the same time pathetic how the minions of the left tried to spin this issue differently. Clearly Craigy boy was very naughty and stole thousands from hard-working, low-paid union members. If you were to listen to bleeding hearts on the Sandpit he either didn’t do it, or wasn’t guilty or had any number of other get out of jail free excuses.

    You can read it here,

    here and here.

    Oh yeah, and here 🙂

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    Don’t be so cocky – you’ve got another (and much bigger) possible crook on the Coalition side. Resigned today as ASSISTANT TREASURER, I believe. That guy looks like he was up to his armpits in corruption, and for much (muuuuuuuuuuuch) bigger amounts. And the source that was being plundered was a Government authority. A lot more to come on that piece-of-work.

  3. GD says:

    That guy looks like he was up to his armpits in corruption

    Looks like? Craig Thomson and your union cronies are up to their armpits in corruption.

  4. GD says:

    Resigned today as ASSISTANT TREASURER, I believe.

    Well no, Arthur Sinodinos has stepped aside as assistant treasurer while he answers questions from the ICAC. This is the correct procedure for a member of parliament. Compare this to the despicable Craig Thomson and Labor’s attempt to prop him up at all costs.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, Thomson was a crook, no doubt. Convicted of defrauding $65,000 from the Union. The allegations against Sinodinos are on a much bigger scale and suggest he was illegally positioning himself to receive up to $20 million. We know (at the very least) that he was taking/receiving $200,000 per year in ‘salary’ from AWH, a company that appears (allegedly) to have been corruptly formed to receive a massively favourable NSW Govt contract. Okay, these allegations are only in the investigative/inquiry stage at the moment, but you were jumping all over Thomson well before that stage had been reached in his case. From the moment it was first reported by The Age, I believe. So don’t be a hypocrite.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    you can’t be serious as soon as he found out the dodgy nature of the company that he was a part of he backed right away from it he denounced his share holding and ceased all involvement. Even ICAC is not investigating him its asking him to be a witness You Laborites are clutching at straws here
    🙄

  7. Jeff G. says:

    Personally I always thought Thomson was guilty. But to say the ALP “propped him up at all costs” is, like a lot of what GD says, utterly wrong. Thomson resigned from the party when he was raided in 2012 and sat on the crossbenches. I had no problem with him staying in the parliament. If someone is charged with criminal offences and claims to be innocent, they are entitled to be treated as innocent until proved guilty. Which means they are entitled to keep their job until a guilty verdict is returned.

    As for Sinodinis, you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that something fishy is going on. The bloke received $200,000 for 100 hours work. You don’t take on that kind of “work” without knowing what the company does or where the money is coming from. Like Thomson he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, but on the available evidence so far, you’d say he has something to hide. The fact he has resigned from the ministry without too much pressure is in itself a worrying sign (Howard’s misbehaving ministers couldn’t be removed from cabinet with a crowbar!)

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    as soon as he found out the dodgy nature of the company that he was a part of he backed right away

    That’s what he said, Iain, but what else would you expect him to say? Are you seriously suggesting that someone who was both Chairman and a shareholder of a company had no idea who else held shares (and was actively involved) in that same company? He was involved in its original formation. So were the Obeids. Iain …. give me a break.

  9. Jeff G. says:

    I missed that comment from Iain, mentioned by Ray.

    Did he “back right away” as soon as he found out about the dodgy nature of the company? Or as soon as others found out about the dodgy nature of the company, and his connection to it? Pivotal question that one.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Ray & Jeff I have no idea what the detailed facts are and I know that you guys are not going to like it but I just don’t feel that Sinodenous is any kind of self serving crook.
    Finally HE HAS NOT RESIGNED he has stood aside which is a much lesser thing.

  11. Jeff G. says:

    Resigned, stood aside, it’s splitting hairs. He’s no longer there. Whether he is back is contingent on what the investigation turns up. And like I said, until then he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

    Funny how you “feel” that Sinodinis is innocent but you were certain than Thomson was guilty and also that Gillard was complicit in the AWB hanky panky. Me thinks your “feelings” stem from political confirmation bias. But there is probably no cure for that, it’s a terminal illness 🙂

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    I have no idea what the detailed facts are

    They’ve been all over the papers, Iain – you read them every day, don’t you?

    Anyway, I have a minor correction to make to my earlier comment. The Obeids were not (technically) involved in the “formation” of AWH as I thought, however, they bought into it (significantly) in 2010. Read this from the SMH :

    Documents tendered at the ICAC on Wednesday show the Obeids’ shareholding in AWH was mentioned in company records in November 2010. The notes from the management meeting clearly show the Obeids’ stake in the company – something Mr Sinodinos is denying knowledge of.

    Mr Sinodinos was not present, but the minutes show a reference to the Obeids was made in the first item, alongside a reference to Mr Sinodinos taking over as chairman, on top of his position as director.

    The minutes also detailed that Eddie Obeid jnr would play a key role as AWH attempted to expand into Queensland.

    Sinodinis stayed on as Chair of AWH for another year after the Obeids bought in. He then became a Senator (in Nov 2011), however, he still retained his 5% share of the company that was gifted to him as part of his package as a Director & Chairperson – gifted to him by the founder of the firm, a guy who was also the Obeids’ lawyer in their corrupt mining deals! He only ‘abandoned’ those shares after ICAC started looking into the company’s operations and the Obeids’ involvement. Oh, and the dodgy 25 year exclusive Govt contract that the company had obtained, worth squillions.

    Um, I think it sounds more than fishy, Iain

  13. Jeff G. says:

    What is equally as worrying for the Libs is that Sinodinis has resigned (call it what you like Iain) as assistant treasurer. Since the days of Howard, the Coalition have a history of just riding out these kinds of scandals. From children overboard to the travel expenses affair, they like to just sit tight and wait until it all blows over. The fact Arty has left the scene so easily and so willingly means he’s either a true man of ethics (possible) or up to his neck in dodgy deals and paybacks (also possible). Time will tell which is the case.

    Also worrying is the involvement of the Obeids. You don’t spend as long in politics as Sinodinis and not get to know who is dodgy and who plays it straight. He would have known their caper. So why then did he stay in business with them so long? Let’s face it if this was Gillard or Shorten, you would be shouting the odds and baying for their blood, no matter what their denials.

    Ray is correct that if true this would be more big time than Craig Thomson. He’s a scumbag no doubt but at the end of the day all he did was blow a few thousand on some whores. Arty seems to be at the centre of a much bigger operation than that.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff

    He’s a scumbag no doubt but at the end of the day all he did was blow a few thousand on some whores.

    Unless he was using rent boys my guess is that would have been the whores doing the blowing.

  15. GD says:

    at the end of the day all he did was blow a few thousand on some whores

    Why are you attempting to whitewash Thomson’s crimes? He stole $28,000 from the HSU for personal use, including prostitutes, and lied to the parliament about. it.

    Labor did prop him up by continuing to pay his legal fees.

  16. Jeff G. says:

    So what? It wasn’t public money they were using. Labor is obviously a good employer that supports accused employees who say they are innocent. It’s their money and they can use it how they please.

    As for the $28,000, it’s chickenfeed compared to the amounts of public money involved in the AWH fiasco, which Iain refuses to talk about and you also seem to be ignoring.

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    This ABC report suggests Sinodinis could be in deep shit here:

    Salary kept secret from investors

    Shareholders in a company once chaired by Senator Arthur Sinodinos were not made aware of his salary or the firm’s finances, the New South Wales corruption watchdog has been told. AWH shareholder Anthony Karam took the stand to tell of his $500,000 investment in the firm.

    … Mr Karam told the inquiry he has had no financial return from his investment and that company financial records have been withheld from him. As a result Mr Karam said he joined other AWH investors in a Federal Court case to sue the company and its directors.

    Mr Karam told ICAC he was first asked to invest in AWH while having breakfast with his old school friend Eddie Obeid Jnr, the son of former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, in 2007 near the Obeid family’s offices at Birkenhead Point.

    …. Another AWH investor, Rod de Aboitiz, told the inquiry he put $1 million into the company and also had had no return.Mr de Aboitiz said, given the situation, big salaries for AWH executives and fees for lobbyists did not make sense to him. He said the board members were experienced businessmen “aware of the Corporations Act” and he should not have been telling them how to “suck eggs”.

    Mr de Aboitiz said at one point he was angry with Mr Di Girolamo, who was also a fundraiser for the Liberal Party’s NSW division. The investor took his concerns to Mr Di Girolamo’s fellow board member, Senator Sinodinos, telling him that AWH needed to get its finances under control.

    ICAC alleges that Senator Sinodinos was paid $200,000 a year by AWH, plus bonuses, for about 100 hours’ work and stood to make up to $20 million from the deal between AWH and Sydney Water. The commission is investigating allegations AWH signed an agreement with Sydney Water to project manage infrastructure but corruptly billed Sydney Water for expenses.

    AWH is accused of using the money to pay exorbitant executive salaries and as donations to the NSW Liberal Party.

    The Liberal Party indicated earlier this week that it would be repaying the more than $75,000 received in “tainted” AWH donations to Sydney Water.

    Current and former AWH directors including Senator Sinodinos, Mr Di Girolamo and former NSW Labor treasurer Michael Costa are being sued for deceptive conduct.

    Senator Sinodinos maintains that he has done nothing wrong and Prime Minister Tony Abbott predicts he will return to the frontbench “soon”.

    Do you really want him back, Tony?

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