Commissioner suspended Crown Law solicitors after one-hour decision

The revelation came last week in the ongoing hearings regarding the suspension of two senior solicitors on full pay last year.

“I believe it took an hour.”
 
That’s how long Corrective Services Commissioner Mark Rallings, in a testimony to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission last week, said he deliberated before deciding to suspend two senior Crown Law solicitors last year on full pay.
 
Solicitors Siobhan Parer and Jeremy Weston were suspended on full pay on June 12 last year, and Parer has filed suit, according to The Courier Mail.
 
Rallings was testifying when he was asked how long it took for him to decide on the suspensions after being given reading material on the issue.
 
According to The Courier Mail, the commissioner said he did not make any independent inquiries about Parer, who was then the Acting Assistant Crown Solicitor and was supervising Weston.
 
Rallings said that he first studied the brief prepared by Justice Director-General of Human Resources Stuart Woods in his deliberation, but Woods had admitted that the brief was “cut and pasted” from documents provided by Crown Law.
 
Woods along with Assistant Crown Solicitor Samantha Kane briefed Rallings and gave him the documents and draft letters of suspension at around 11 a.m. on June 12 last year, the investigation revealed. Woods said Rallings signed the suspension letters around 11:50 a.m.
 
Rallings, in his deliberation, also considered a report by Barrister Jo Sorbello which criticised Weston for handling the Queensland Government Insurance Fund files.
 
The report did not identify Parer but as the solicitor’s supervisor, she was also suspended.
 
Parer is seeking compensation, a declaration that her suspension was reprisal action and a civil penalty, or fine, against the State Government, according to The Courier Mail.
 
She had complained about Deputy Crown Solicitor Helen Fremantle.
 

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