A CONVICTED fraudster who served a stint behind bars for embezzling money was employed in former police minister Jo-Ann Miller's office.
The Queensland Times can exclusively reveal the woman's 263 fraud convictions for siphoning thousands of dollars from her employer were brought to the government's attention last year.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk denied knowledge about the matter on Tuesday when asked about it during question time in State Parliament.
But the QT can reveal Ms Palaszczuk's office was alerted to the staffer's background last year.
The revelation came following the woman's alcohol-fuelled outburst in the Commercial Hotel at Redbank after an Ipswich Rugby League game.
The staffer was overheard saying "all Springfield police are corrupt" - angering the many Labor supporters and members in the pub at the time.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subsequently called into Ms Palaszczuk's office and sacked on the spot for her outburst.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg asked two pointed questions yesterday about the issue to Ms Palaszczuk during a heated question time.
"Given that ministerial staff appointments require the premier's approval, has the premier ever allowed a person previously jailed for stealing to work in the office of a minister for police?" Mr Springborg asked.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was not aware of any but was happy to investigate the matter.
Mr Springborg followed up his first question to Ms Palaszczuk with another about the issue.
"Is it true the Premier took the advice of the former police minister and employed a jailed fraudster in the police minister's office," he asked.
Ms Palaszczuk told parliament she did not know what Mr Springborg was talking about.
"If he has some evidence - and I am quite sure we will read about it - why doesn't he be fulsome and table it?" she said.
"Why doesn't the Leader of the Opposition be truthful and state what he is clearly implying here?
"Once again we see the opposition muckraking about staff and personal matters."
The Queensland Times can reveal a highly-respected former Labor minister personally called Ms Palaszczuk's office last year to inform them about the woman.
"I received calls from branch members who witnessed the outburst and I called the Premier's office personally," they said.
"The premier's office knew about the woman's form, there is no doubt about it because I was the one who told them.
"The woman was called into Annastacia Palaszczuk's office and given her marching orders.
"The ripple effect at the time among government MPs was 'Christ, not Miller again.'
"They (the government) are extremely fortunate the woman gobbed off like she did.
"I did the thing I thought was the correct thing to do at the time."
The former minister said the woman's "form" was well-known in Labor circles and the outburst was the excuse to "punt her."
They said for a police minister to knowingly employ a convicted fraudster in her office was simply inexcusable.
"Miller surrounds herself with people who are not qualified for their roles," they said.
"They are all only interested in, and involved in, the attempt to bring down Mayor Paul Pisasale.
That is all being driven from her (Ms Miller's) office."
Premier Palaszczuk confirmed in a statement to the Queensland Times the woman referred to in parliament was employed as a junior administration officer in Ms Miller's office.
She said the woman was no longer employed as a ministerial staffer.
"I understand any allegations about criminal activity were not raised in the recruitment process," she said.
"Neither I, nor my office, was made aware of any allegations relating to the individual.
"I understand the person was employed in May 2015, and I am advised ceased her employment on July 6, 2015.
"The employee did not complete the period of probation."
The QT contacted Ms Miller for comment but she did not return those calls.
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