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Monday, October 19, 2015

Kathy Jackson's ordeal not over

The Australian Health Services Union (HSU) sued Kathy Jackson in the Federal court for setting up a slush fund using union money to live a life of luxury.

They accused the former HSU secretary of using union funds for holidays, jewellery, entertainment, artworks and making cash withdrawals whenever she felt like it.  It was also alleged she stole up to $100,000 to fund her divorce from former union figure Jeff Jackson.

In August 2015, the Federal Court found her guilty and ordered her to pay $1.4 million in compensation to the union for misappropriated funds.

And then she did something that made her look guilty - she filed for bankruptcy just before the trial began and chose not to attend.

This is the woman who sent former union boss Michael Williamson to prison and had Labor MP Craig Thomson kicked out of Parliament for using his union credit card for prostitutes.

And now she's been found guilty of dipping into union funds herself.  So if she knew she was guilty, why did she do it?

At one stage Kathy Jackson was a hero, but now she's nobody's friend, a thief in the eyes of the public and hated by her former union colleagues.

When she found a dirt-covered shovel on her doorstep at 3 am one morning - a message from her union that meant "we are going to bury you" - she refused to give up and bravely kept going.

And it's not over for Kathy Jackson yet, she's appealing the $1.4 million civil finding against her and there is a criminal investigation underway that could lead to more trouble, so she's probably asking herself if it was worth it.  

Yes it was worth it.  The good old days when union bosses had the power to rip off members is over, thanks to Kathy Jackson.  No longer will they be able to help themselves to union funds, they've fixed it so it can never happen again.