David Penberthy

May 13, 2012

Penbo: surely corporate Australia will support the call I seem to be making for tougher criminal penalties to apply to misuse of corporate credit cards by executives?

David Penberthy

Pure Poison IconDavid Penberthy demands:

Tell it to the court, Craig

Can somebody please explain why the cops haven’t charged Craig Thomson with theft, fraud, or whatever the appropriate offence is arising from his wholly inappropriate use of his member-funded credit card at the Health Services Union?

Maybe the union didn’t have strict rules about the use of the credit card and consequently using it for non-work expenses, if it can be proved Thomson did, might not actually have been a crime? And if it was, would Penberthy rather the police charge Thomson before their investigation is complete and thereby botch the prosecution?

Funnily enough, despite widespread executive misuse of corporate credit cards over the years, you don’t see many of them charged with “credit card misuse” either. Maybe corporate Australia would now support some stricter laws regarding executive use of corporate property, on behalf of shareholders? Maybe tough criminal penalties even if the executives set lax rules for their own benefit? Is that something the BCA is going to advocate suddenly?

Somehow I doubt it.

But I look forward to the rest of Penberthy’s campaign to clean up the top end of town.

ELSEWHERE: Can anyone find a trail of articles by David Penberthy demanding present Coalition Senator Mary Jo Fisher – actually found guilty of a crime during her term – be hounded out of parliament?

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14 thoughts on “Penbo: surely corporate Australia will support the call I seem to be making for tougher criminal penalties to apply to misuse of corporate credit cards by executives?

  1. Fran Barlow

    oops: {roll for a five given time period} DYAC

  2. Fran Barlow

    [Comparing apples with pears.]

    The more interesting question is concern for whom Peter Slipper voted in the ballot that allowed Abbott became leader, by just 1 vote … Abbott, on his own declaration, had been trying to get rid of Slipper from parliament for some time. He failed to do so then or before the subsequent election in 2010. An obvious question arises.

    Abbott was certainly counting Slipper in his numbers when the final ballots were declared after the 2010 elections. IIRC all those censure motions included Slipper’s vote. He had no problem at all accepting Slipper’s support despite knowing of his background.


    [I am not a lawyer but I find it surprising that no crime has been committed.]

    Laws, at the pointy end, are based on written rules rather than morals. Ripping someone off is unethical but unless you have broken some piece of statute law, the breach is at worst a tort of some kind. Even here, an aggrieved party must be able to show (on the balance of probabilities) that the tortfeasor (or breacher of contract) ought to have known that their action breached a contractual undertaking or duty of care. Acting in bad faith is a civil wrong, save in circumstances where there is a statutory duty demanding accurate declarations, observe a code of conduct etc. An example of the latter would be the imposition on teachers to keep and maintain accurate rolls. If I had failed to do that, and was asked to produce a roll for a five time period and simply contrived one, that would be both a breach of the act and corrupt conduct.

    Of course, this has been codified and written into the Teaching Services Act …

  3. Socrates

    [If Mary-Jo Fisher was forced to resign from parliament, she would be replaced by another Liberal under the rules of filling casual vacancies in the Senate.]
    That isn’t the point. She has been convicted and she should go. Numbers in parliament are neither a reason to ignore nor a reason to punish; the evidence is. The fact that Fischer going won’t harm the Liberal’s numbers in parliament gives them all the less excuse to keep her there.

    Of course, I agree Thompson should go to. I am not a lawyer but I find it surprising that no crime has been committed. Perhaps no prosecutor wanted to find one. Surely you can’t do whatever you like with your employers money just because there is no explicit rule saying you can’t? If money is for a particular (work) purpose, and you have taken it for some other purpose, then you have acted in bad faith. Call me niaive, but to me that is stealing.

  4. anpl

    If Mary-Jo Fisher was forced to resign from parliament, she would be replaced by another Liberal under the rules of filling casual vacancies in the Senate.

    Comparing apples with pears.

  5. shepherdmarilyn

    It’s not so much the Murdocracy on this though, more like the Fairfax mob through Kate McClymont who is still claiming Kathy Jackson is some sweet hard done by whistle blower because she has invested so much of her time on a story that is 7 -10 years old and has no bearing on Thomson’s job today.

    McClymont no more knows if “Thomson paid hookers than anyone but Thomson and the hookers do and not one of them has crawled out of the wood work to say so.

    McClymont won a Walkey a few years back for a book on rugby that I believe was fundamentally flawed, she now has new victims.

    The thing is there are 2 million union members in Australia and she has become obsessed with a handful from one union with 77,000 members – she needs to stop her partisan ship and be objective.

  6. Mr Rabbit (aka Steve 777)

    You can’t force someone out of parliament on the basis of allegations or even findings of an enquiry, no matter how credible. There has to be a conviction. Otherwise a majority party could gang up to expel anyone they don’t like. In due course there will likely be a trial, possibly a conviction and then parliament can take action it deems appropriate. In the meantime investigations should be allowed to run their course without political interference.

    If Labor had been a majority government, Craig Thompson would have left parliament long since, given that his political career is over no matter what happens. But we have a hung parliament. Had the independents decided to support Tony Abbott in 2010 and similar allegations arose about a Coalition member, I believe that Tony Abbott would have behaved in the same way to support the (allegedly) errant member. The only difference would have been that the Murdochracy would have been calling for investigations to take their course without political interference, not screaming for the Parliament or Prime Minister to exercise powers they don’t have.

  7. NeoTheFatCat

    What would Penbo suggest we do with a politician who misuses a taxpayer provided telecard?

    This is simply lazy thinking. (Allegedly) abusing a lack of rules is not the same as breaking the rules.

  8. shepherdmarilyn

    Yes but Susan, Thomson is not accused of breaching the parliamentary code of conduct.

    The problem is that the media think Kathy Jackson is a good guy when her original whining was due to a divorce.

    And they all know it is an internal power grab inside HSU and should shut up, it’s been going on for decades and has no relevance to anyone.

    How about this: let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.

  9. susan winstanley

    The proposed Code of Conduct is an excellent face-saver. It gives everyone a moment to pause and stop hurling dung. Very Sir Humphrey. The Independents like it (for obvious reasons) and the PM has endorsed it. If the media can get out of the gutter for long enough, and back this thing in onto the front pages, then perhaps the business of government can resume. All it would take is for someone to move a motion when parliament returns, allow everyone to ventilate for a few days, and then pack the whole thing off to a senate committee. The press never goes there. A year later the committee will recommend a referendum to amend section 44 of the Constitution, and everyone will go very quiet for another decade.

  10. shepherdmarilyn

    And why are the Independents calling for a code of conduct in parliament over the Thomson scandal when it has zero to do with his parliamentary conduct.

  11. shepherdmarilyn

    What does the word misuse even mean? The only misuse of credit cards under bank rules that could exist would be to cut it up without paying it off.

  12. shepherdmarilyn

    And now lazy old sloppy Joe joins in. These morons have no shame at all.

    It was a decade ago Joe, not last frigging week.

  13. SHV

    I imagine that in Penbo-World you’d find that “misuse” of the corporate credit card would be a completely different matter altogether if, say, you were taking a fair-haired bespectacled chinese-speaking politician to a strip club in New York.

    Completely different. Not tawdry or at all suspect.

    Apples and oranges

  14. shepherdmarilyn

    It amazes me how many middle aged dingbats like Penbo and most of our media can titter like idiots over the word “”brothel”.

    And anyone who doubts threats from other officials in the HSU they should read up a bit on the history of that union.

    The story against Thomson is strikingly similar to the one against Jeff Jackson but it seems that Penbo has no idea of the law.

    How can anyone be charged over the so-called misuse of a credit card from 7 years ago?

    I didn’t notice any of them saying that Howard had to refund the tens of millions he wasted by living in Kirribilli instead of the Lodge.

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