A former higher education bureaucracy who committed misconduct during a principal-appointment saga was paid more than $600,000 while suspended for more than two years.
State parliament budget estimates revealed that former deputy director general of the education department Jeff Hunt — who was fired in May 2020 and resigned earlier this month — had received $630,000 in salary payments.
This figure does not include additional employment contracts.
Mr Hunt was suspended after the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) launched an investigation into the hiring process of a principal for a new school in Dutton Park in central Brisbane.
The probe also caused former Deputy Prime Minister Jackie Trad to leave the cabinet, but she was later acquitted of any criminal conduct or misconduct.
At the time, then-CCC chairman Alan MacSporran said Mr Hunt’s actions regarding the hiring process, where he met with Ms Trad to “test” a candidate, were “totally inappropriate”.
The ABC disclosed earlier this year that a disciplinary investigation by the Public Service Commission (PSC) found Mr Hunt was guilty of misconduct in connection with the appointment.
One allegation substantiated by the PSC was that Mr Hunt had “inappropriately” involved himself in the hiring process for the director of the Inner City South State Secondary College (ICSSSC) and “rejected” a selection panel’s first choice as well as the authorized delegate who had approved that appointment.
The position was later revised to a higher level based on models that the school was likely to outgrow its expected size, and another person was appointed.
Mr Hunt was also found guilty of misconduct by failing to accurately record the reasons for the decision to re-read and mislead the Director-General about the reasons.
Mr Hunt resigned from his position as Deputy Director General Corporate Services this month.
In a statement earlier this month, the PSC said it is normal to suspend an official when faced with allegations of misconduct.
The PSC further said the disciplinary process has yet to be completed.