Michael Williamson adopted the Wilson/Gillard/Murphy lawsuit technique to crush enquiry
Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald published this story by Kate McClymont. Here are the final few paragraphs.
Couple tried to fight crooked union boss
In the late 1990s union officials Alan Ivers and Bill O'Connor took action in the Industrial Relations Commission to see the union's books.
On Williamson's union-issued American Express card were purchases for Chanel perfume, jewellery, restaurant bills, a $1045 David Jones purchase, valet parking, a gas bill, a $308 bike, shoes, designer handbags, a mattress, a $579 purchase at Chippendale Cellars and more.
But they were also surprised to see that Williamson's mistress Cheryl McMillan also had a credit card on which she had racked up personal expenses.
Armed with this evidence of flagrant rorting, in 1999 Mark and Janice Hardacre, Mr Ivers, Paul Ford and Mr O'Connor ran a ticket challenging Williamson for control of the union.
When they revealed details of the rorts, Williamson hit them with a law suit. Armed with access to the union coffers, Williamson used solicitor Greg Keating, now a District Court judge, to sue the rival team for $750,000 for suggesting he was corrupt.
Faced with losing their houses, after four years of what they collectively describe as ''hell'', they settled the case with Williamson. His opponents each paid between $25,000 and $50,000 in legal costs. A term of the settlement was that they never mention the allegations again.
''He behaved in a criminal way and he had done so from the very beginning,'' said Mr Ivers, now retired.
Williamson did not return the Herald's call.
Bruce Wilson turned to a future Labor Prime Minister and a future Federal Court Judge to bring defamation proceedings on Ralph Blewitt's behalf.
Michael Williamson turned to a Labor Prime Minister's brother who would be appointed a District Court Judge to bring proceedings on his behalf. Judge Keating made a tidy sum on the sale of his interest in the McClellands law firm to Slater and Gordon. Small world.
Here's Chris Merritt's article in The Australian on 18 October, 2007
Ex PM's Brother Lands Plum Law Job
THE NSW Labor Government has appointed Greg Keating, brother of former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, to a $306,990 job as president of the state's Workers Compensation Commission.
Mr Keating's appointment comes just two months after he shared in a windfall of up to $5million when he sold his interest in Sydney law firm McClellands to Slater & Gordon Ltd.
Because the presidency of the commission is reserved for judges, Mr Keating has also been appointed a judge of the NSW District Court, triggering calls for reform of the judicial selection process. "Greg Keating is a very able lawyer but it is for others to judge whether his relationship to Paul Keating has advanced his cause," said Opposition legal affairs spokesman Greg Smith.
"Next time, I'd like to see a more transparent process such as the British system where a separate body interviews candidates and checks their competency."
Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said Mr Keating, 52, had extensive legal and specialist workers compensation experience.
He had practised as a solicitor for 26 years, had been an acting judge of the District Court for three years to June 1999, and had been a director of the NSW WorkCover Authority since 1998, Mr Della Bosca said.
Mr Keating, 13 years junior to his famous brother and the youngest of the four Keating children, did not go to university to obtain his legal qualification, instead doing a Solicitors Admissions Board course at night.
"My father was never real keen on university graduates," he told Paul Keating's biographer John Edwards.
"There was never any great pressure to go to university ... certainly not from Dad's point of view - he used to describe university graduates as bums."
Until the sale of McClellands to Slater & Gordon in August, Mr Keating had been managing partner of the firm founded by the late Labor senator "Diamond" Jim McClelland.
Mr Keating guided the firm through a prostitution scandal involving former partner Michael Ryan who had been acting for former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld.
He has also been a keen property investor, leading a syndicate that bought a parcel of land next to Sydney's Olympic stadium eight months before the NSW government announced its decision to bid for the 2000 Olympics at Homebush. At the Workers Compensation Commission, Mr Keating will be replacing current president Terry Sheahan, a former president of the NSW Labor Party and former state attorney-general. Mr Keating's presidential salary of $306,990 falls short of the $321,670 special pay deal that the state Government made with Justice Sheahan.