- From: The Courier-Mail
- March 16, 2012
The Courier-Mail can reveal that the Crime and Misconduct Commission's Kathryn Ellis, who has been acting Assistant Commissioner for Misconduct for most of this year, is the spouse of Mark Nolan, a former senior adviser with the Federal ALP and the party's former Western Australian state secretary. Mr Nolan is also a director, along with Labor's state campaign manager Bruce Hawker, in the company Campaigns and Communications, which has been on the Labor payroll.
The revelation comes as the CMC continues to probe business dealings during the period when LNP leader Campbell Newman was Brisbane's Lord Mayor. Mr Newman is trying to win the seat of Ashgrove and become premier in eight days.
However, Mr Nolan last night said he had "no knowledge" of what happens within the CMC and said any suggestion otherwise was "insulting and defamatory".
Premier Anna Bligh last night said she was unaware of the Ellis-Nolan link but she had "confidence in the independence of the CMC", which operated "completely at arm's length from the Government". Ms Ellis was the CMC's acting Commissioner, Misconduct, from January 16 to March 2. She is the Director of the Office when not acting as commissioner.
The CMC last night confirmed to The Courier-Mail that Ms Ellis "has undertaken to have no further role in any matter concerning the interests of Queensland election candidates". "As part of pre-appointment disclosures, Ms Ellis provided details of her husband's occupation as a barrister in private practice and interests and companies that he has and continues to be involved in, including a Director position with Campaigns and Communications Group," the CMC said in a statement.
"There has been no action or role taken by Ms Ellis in relation to the interests of any prominent political identity which would suggest any attempt by her to pursue any political agenda. "Specifically, Ms Ellis had no influence in the recent decision made within the CMC to examine alleged donations by a developer to the Liberal National Party's Forward Brisbane Leadership fund ahead of Brisbane City Council approval for a Woolloongabba development. This matter is currently being assessed with no determination yet reached on an appropriate course of action.
"Nevertheless, Ms Ellis has undertaken to have no further role in any matter concerning the interests of Queensland election candidates."On Wednesday, the LNP sought clarification from the CMC as to why it was inquiring into the Woolloongabba development. Last night, the CMC told the LNP that it would not discuss the matter.
Also yesterday, Ms Bligh sent a bundle of papers to the CMC in a major escalation of Labor's attacks on Mr Newman's alleged "dodgy dealings". The documents showed that developer Philip Usher registered a business to a building owned by Mr Newman's father-in-law, Frank Monsour, which he moved the day Mr Newman announced his bid to run for the premiership last March.Mr Newman accused the Premier of concocting a wild conspiracy theory.He was joined on the hustings yesterday by former prime minister John Howard, who praised Mr Newman's "incredible political courage" and predicted "he will win Ashgrove".
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