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Australia: NSW Government Trying to Recover Taxpayer-Funded Legal Assistance
Source: https://www.theguardian.com
Source Date: Saturday, March 24, 2018
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Australia
Created: Mar 30, 2018

The New South Wales government is trying to recover taxpayer-funded legal assistance given to Eddie Obeid after the disgraced former state minister failed in his final bid to get out of jail. The corrections minister, David Elliott, said the ALP powerbroker would be forced to pay back more than $280,000 for the legal assistance. The 74-year-old is also required under new laws introduced last year to repay his pension, which would amount to as much as $660,000. Obeid was jailed in 2016 for at least three years after being found guilty of misconduct in public office between August and November 2007. He was found to have lobbied a senior public servant over lucrative Circular Quay leases without revealing his family’s stake in the outlets. Last week Obeid lost his final bid for freedom with the high court refusing to give him the green light to challenge his conviction. The NSW attorney general, Mark Speakman, said he had since instructed the Office of General Counsel and the Department of Justice to start cost recovery for Obeid’s taxpayer-funded legal assistance. “NSW taxpayers deserve their money back and the NSW government is taking action to ensure this occurs,” Speakman said.

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