Investigator will probe Lawler's leave: Minister

OUT OF THE OFFICE: A casually dressed Michael Lawler assists as police execute warrants at Kathy Jackson's Wombarra property on October 7. Picture: Angela Thompson

OUT OF THE OFFICE: A casually dressed Michael Lawler assists as police execute warrants at Kathy Jackson's Wombarra property on October 7. Picture: Angela Thompson

AN independent investigator will probe the months of sick leave taken by Fair Work Commission vice-president Michael Lawler after concerns were raised he used the time off to aid the legal battle of his partner, disgraced Wombarra union official Kathy Jackson.

Mr Lawler was seen cooperating with state and federal police during a raid on Jackson’s northern Illawarra property on October 7.

Mr Lawler has been on leave for about nine months of the past year, while the Health Services Union sued Ms Jackson for $1.4 million she used for personal shopping, travel and her divorce from her husband Jeff Jackson.

On Monday, employment minister Michaelia Cash followed through on work begun by her predecessor, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, and announced the appointment of an investigator, saying it was essential public confidence in the commission was maintained.

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