In a string of allegations lodged against former ACT chief prosecutor Shane Drumgold, he finds himself facing accusations of insufficiently handling expenses and flouting department regulations. Drumgold has been alleged to have concealed receipts to claim alcohol and passed a bill of $5000 for global roaming charges onto taxpayers.
Drumgold’s former office manager, Mercy Wilkie, put forth seven pages of accusations to the territory’s Integrity Commission. Ms. Wilkie, an experienced professional who dedicated 15 years of her life to the Department of Public Prosecutions, revealed she harbored ongoing reservations about Drumgold’s conduct which were amplified during the examination of his management of the prosecution case against former Liberal staffer Brace Lehrmann.
Following assertions of misdemeanor and intentional dishonesty during the trial, made by Walter Sofronoff KC, Drumgold resigned from his esteemed role as director of public prosecutions.
Wilkie brought 21 areas of concern pertaining to Drumgold to the attention of the integrity watchdog. A representative from the Integrity Commissioner confirmed that Wilkie’s allegations are undergoing a thorough review. However, it is crucial to note that these are allegations put forward by Wilkie which, in her perspective, necessitate investigation and at this point, there exists no implication of definitive wrongdoing from Drumgold’s side.
The enunciated claims back in March coincide with the time when her partner, builder Matthew Thompson, was embroiled in a payment dispute with Drumgold over work done on Drumgold’s holiday homes.
Wilkie voiced concern that Drumgold regularly obtained reimbursement for his expenses without providing receipts, with attempts to even claim alcohol. Despite repetitive reminders by Wilkie regarding the necessity of providing receipts, Drumgold seemed to continually rely on statutory declarations.
After attending a conference in England, Drumgold, according to Wilkie, submitted a statutory declaration instead of receipts, which provoked suspicion and warranted questioning. This behavior led Wilkie to speculate that Drumgold was concealing the purchase of alcohol and other non-reimbursable items through the statutory declaration.
It’s not just alcohol; the concerns ran deeper, including that of Drumgold incurring an international roaming expense that lacked prior approval. Upon returning from the conference, Drumgold was slapped with an approximate $5000 invoice from Telstra. He rationalized that the expense was work-related and consequently, the DPP shouldered the invoice, contrary to standard practice.
Drumgold allegedly used a government account to purchase a plane ticket for his wife and allowed his daughter – an entry-level employee at the DPP – to utilize his official parking spot.
In addition, Wilkie hinted that Drumgold’s annual leave recorded remained surprisingly minimal, even upon frequent usage over the course of a year. Furthermore, she indicated that Drumgold was participating in meetings with her partner, Mr. Thompson, during work hours to discuss plans for Drumgold’s vacation properties, deeming these instances as inappropriate.