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John Cain Jr comes through for Labor again - no charges for Labor MPs over redshirts scandal

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Dan Andrews appointment of Labor's Cain dynasty scion John Jr as Solicitor for Public Prosecutions was a great move for Bruce Wilson, Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten and now the pack of cheats Labor Redshirt MPs.

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Victoria Police will not lay criminal charges against anyone involved in Labor’s $388,000 “red shirts” rorts-for-votes scandal.

The fraud squad investigation was launched in July last year after Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass found 21 Labor MPs, including six ministers, had misused taxpayer dollars to partially fund “red shirt” campaign staff during the 2014 election.

In a three-line statement released 15 months after the criminal investigation was launched and almost five years after the 2014 election, police on Tuesday said they had received advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions and would not be laying charges.

“No charges will be laid against any person in relation to this investigation,” Victoria Police said. “The matter is now complete”.

Labor paid back the $388,000 ahead of the release of Ombudsman’s report last year.

The Ombudsman’s investigation alone cost taxpayers $744,000, while the government spent more than $600,000 on various legal battles to try to prevent the Ombudsman’s probe going ahead.

In February, police confirmed they would not lay charges against any of the 16 current Andrews government MPs who were involved in the scandal.

At the time, Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the two men who had devised the “red shirts” scheme were subject to ongoing investigation.

It is understood one of those men was Brumby government treasurer John Lenders.

The Ombudsman found that “the arrangement to employ field organisers as electorate officers was an artifice to secure partial payment for the campaign out of parliamentary funds, and was wrong,” and that $388,000 of taxpayers’ money had been misused.

This prompted Victoria Police to seek independent legal advice, reopen the matter, and launch a criminal investigation, codenamed Ocotillo.

In October 2018, it was revealed that all 16 current Andrews government MPs, acting on the advice of ALP lawyers, had refused to co-operate with requests by police for interviews.

This followed pre-dawn raids in August 2018, which saw 17 former ALP volunteers and staff members — but no MPs — arrested by Victoria Police across three states and taken in for questioning over the falsification of time sheets.

Some of those arrested were subjected to strip searches and forced to spend time in police holding cells before facing questions.

A spokeswoman for Premier Daniel Andrews said the matter was now concluded, and referred journalists to the Victoria Police statement.

 

 


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