Friday, 21 March 2008

Orkopolous whistleblower sues NSW Govt

The aide who blew the whistle on convicted paedophile and former New South Wales Labor minister Milton Orkopolous is suing the State Government, claiming she can never work again.

Former electoral officer Gillian Sneddon blew the whistle on an underage sex investigation into her boss in 2006.

Ms Sneddon was sacked on the same day she gave evidence at the Orkopolous trial last month.

She says the psychological damage she has suffered has left her unfit to work again.

Parliamentary Speaker Richard Torbay says he will meet with Ms Sneddon next month to discuss her future employment and entitlements.

Mr Torbay says the former electoral officer is also pursuing a workers compensation claim against the Government.

"It is a significant claim and that process is a matter for Parliament's insurers," he said. "That's an ongoing matter."

Earlier this week, the Speaker said Ms Sneddon's redundancy was coincidental.

Mr Torbay said she had been on stress leave since late 2006 and the sacking was a way of ensuring she could access redundancy pay while she was pursuing her claim.

He said there was no barrier to her re-employment.

Ms Sneddon has said she has been offered no support from State Parliament since the police investigation of Orkopoulos began.

"What would it have taken for the Premier to have rung me up and to have said, 'Gillian, I know that you've been caught up in this, you're an employee of a state Member, what can we do to help you?'," she said on Saturday.

Orkopoulos was found guilty of 28 child sex and drugs charges a week ago. A jury found he had sex with three boys and supplied them with marijuana.

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