‘I’m a victim of a witch hunt’: Vindicated Trad responds
FORMER deputy premier Jackie Trad has spoken out about an investigation into her role in the recruitment of a principal for a high-profile Brisbane school, labelling the matter "a political witch-hunt" and saying she felt "used" by public servants.
The Crime and Corruption Commission found that Ms Trad did not commit a criminal offence, or show "dishonest or corrupt intent" when she inappropriately met a principal candidate for the Inner City South State Secondary College.
The new high school is being built in Ms Trad's inner-city Brisbane electorate.
"I have been totally cleared of wrongdoing in the selection of the principal for the new high school in Dutton Park," Ms Trad said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, this matter was turned into a political witch-hunt by the LNP.
"This has been an ongoing smear campaign that has had a detrimental impact on myself, my family and sadly, on the South Brisbane community."
Ms Trad urged the LNP to "get over their obsession with bringing me down" and said they should instead focus on contributing to Queensland's economic recovery during the coronavirus crisis.
Ms Trad said she felt "used" by the public servants who had invited her to a meeting to test out the principal candidate.
"I have said from day one that I didn't interfere in the selection of the principal for the new highschool being delivered in my local community," she said.
"And today the CCC has reported and vindicated me and has made clear that I have been telling the truth from day one."
She said a text message sent to her 45 minutes before the meeting did not raise a red flag with her because it had referred to the candidate as the "principal-elect", and she believed the candidate was already chosen, albeit not yet informed.
"I had received a text message as I was busy going from one appointment to the next in my local electorate and the text message read that the principal had not been told yet," she said.
"So that did not raise in my mind that the process had not been complete, just that she had not yet been told that she was the principal elect.
"But I had been told all along, as is detailed in the report, that this was a simple meet-and-greet with the successful candidate."
Ms Trad said the saga had taken an incredible toll out on her and her family.
"I am relieved that the report is out," she said.
Ms Trad said she would not comment on the behaviour of public servants who were now being looked at by the Public Service Commissioner.
Originally published as 'I'm a victim of a witch hunt': Vindicated Trad responds