Public servant still suspended on full pay after Trad probe

 

A senior public servant is still suspended on full pay almost 12 months after being stood aside amid a corruption probe involving former Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad and the appointment of a school principal.

Education Department deputy director-general Jeff Hunt was stood aside in May last year following revelations the Crime and Corruption Commission was investigating allegations Jackie Trad interfered in the appointment process of a principal at Brisbane's Inner City South State Secondary College.

 

Deputy Director General of the Department of Education Queensland Jeff Hunt remains stood down on full pay. Picture: Jerad Williams
Deputy Director General of the Department of Education Queensland Jeff Hunt remains stood down on full pay. Picture: Jerad Williams

The Courier-Mail earlier this year revealed the Public Service Commission (PSC) had completed its probe.

Two senior public servants, independent of the PSC, will decide whether any disciplinary action is needed.

In response to questions about whether Mr Hunt was still suspended and whether the saga had been finalised, the Education Department said the matter was "still under consideration".

"The Department will not be making any comment in relation to this ongoing process," a spokesman said.

The PSC also did not provide an update. But The Courier-Mail understands Mr Hunt is still suspended.

Dr Christian Rowan MP demanded a timeline. Picture: Liam Kidston
Dr Christian Rowan MP demanded a timeline. Picture: Liam Kidston

Opposition education spokesman Christian Rowan urged the government to provide a timeline, saying justice delayed was justice denied.

Former deputy premier Jackie Trad resigned from Cabinet in May last year after learning of the CCC's probe. She denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Hunt was stood aside in the days following pending the outcome of the investigation.

The corruption watchdog cleared Ms Trad in July but revealed Mr Hunt concocted a plan to have the former deputy premier test out principal candidate Tracey Cook, without telling Ms Trad or Ms Cook the meeting's purpose.

 

 

Bureaucrats, including Mr Hunt, were worried Ms Trad had seemed in a bad mood and didn't appear to like Ms Cook, so a decision to appoint her was reversed.

At the time, the CCC handed a confidential report to the PSC's chief executive to decide whether disciplinary action, if any, was needed.

Dr Rowan said the lengthy delay in finalising the matter was denying natural justice.

"There can be no doubt that justice delayed is justice denied," he said.

"Whilst due diligence and a thorough independent investigation with respect to all matters involving the recruitment and selection process of the principal of the Brisbane Inner-City South Secondary College must be undertaken, there can be no doubt that time is of the essence in bringing these matters to a swift and transparent resolution.

"The Palaszczuk State Labor Government must be open, transparent and accountable to the people of Queensland, and provide a definitive timeline as to when the entire investigation outcome will be finalised."

A government spokesman said it was an independent process being overseen by the PSC.

"It should be allowed to continue without demands from the LNP to neglect due process," he said.

Originally published as School saga: Public servant STILL suspended on full pay



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