South Australia Police has decided not to pursue criminal charges against former Justice Department Chief Executive Kate Lennon, causing a major embarrassment for Premier Rann and the hapless Attorney General Michael Atkinson in particular.
Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the Rann Government during 2005 made a series of accusations against Ms. Lennon, both inside and outside the Parliament.
“Allegations of criminal behaviour, including corruption and fraud, were either made or strongly inferred against Ms. Lennon,” Mr. Lucas said.
“The Attorney General, Mr. Atkinson, actually made the damaging claim that Ms. Lennon had maintained ‘two sets of books’ as part of this alleged criminal behaviour. Evidence from Auditor General staff and public servants to the ‘Stashed Cash’ Select Committee since then has subsequently made it clear that Mr. Atkinson’s claims were wrong.”
The Rann Government in late 2005 referred these allegations to the Anti-Corruption Branch of SAPOL.
“After consideration by the Anti-Corruption Branch, this issue was also considered by an interstate Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as the South Australian DPP office had a potential conflict of interest.
“The fact that these serious charges against Ms. Lennon are not proceeding is a serious embarrassment for the hapless Mr. Atkinson in particular, and raises further questions about both his competence and ability to fulfil the important role of Attorney General.”