Driscoll fined for contempt


driscollFormer Queensland MP Scott Driscoll has been fined $90,000 for contempt of parliament despite his lawyer’s plea for leniency for “a broken man”.

Driscoll faced parliament for a final time on Thursday, letting lawyer Peter Russo explain his actions to his disgusted former colleagues.

Driscoll quit parliament earlier this week after the powerful ethics committee said he’d been so dishonest about his personal business dealings that he should be expelled.

The committee recommended the former member for Redcliffe be slapped with a $90,000 fine for deliberately misleading parliament and hiding his personal income and business dealings.

MPs agreed, and despite Russo’s plea that the fine be reduced to $12,000, they voted to impose the full amount.

Driscoll stood before the house with his eyes down cast as Russo offered words in his defence.

Russo said the former MP’s mistakes were genuine oversights.

He said Driscoll had lost prestige in the community and would forever be remembered for his errors of judgment.

“He’s lost his political career, Russo said.

“He’s left parliament a broken man.”

Premier Campbell Newman was less than forgiving as he spoke about the former Liberal National Party member, who turned independent before the LNP could dump him.

Newman said he had initially supported Driscoll despite a raft of media reports detailing very serious concerns about the MP’s private dealings.

He said he’d wanted to give Driscoll a “fair go” and denied allegations were swept under the carpet.

“He always had an explanation and an answer and that’s why in those initial weeks we defended him in the House,” the premier said.

The premier said he’d hoped for remorse from Driscoll but instead had been further saddened by his actions.

He said that was particularly true when Driscoll updated his Twitter profile this week to say “Keep calm and enjoy retirement” along with a photo of a man reclining on a beach, drink in hand.

He said Driscoll was responsible for a “breathtaking, staggering deception” of parliament.

“It is a staggering deception of myself who asked him direct questions,” he added.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk criticised the government for not acting when cracks began to appear.

“It is a sad sorry mess,” she said.


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