Dodgy ratbag, but not from the ALP

Australia has more than their fair share of ratbag politicians. Perhaps it is to be expected with so much convict stock. Most of the ratbags seem to have coalesce in the Labor party but occasionally one is found in other parties:

Former NSW premier Nick Greiner was “evasive and hostile” when asked to give evidence over his involvement in an elaborate bid-rigging deal between two companies of which he was a director, a federal court judge said.

The two companies are mining services firm Bradken and private equity group CHAMP, a subsidiary of Castle Harlan.

Mr Greiner, the current chair of Infrastructure NSW, and Bradken’s managing director, Brian Hodges, were involved in Bradken’s “misleading or deceptive conduct”, the judge said.

Mr Greiner, Bradken and Mr Hodges, were last week ordered to pay $21.6 million to Swiss company Pala. The judge found Mr Greiner had used his positions at the two companies to hoodwink Pala into selling its mining-parts manufacturer – Norcast– for less than it was worth.

Mr Greiner was on the board of both Castle Harlan, which purchased Norcast from Pala, and Bradken, which purchased Norcast from Castle Harlan seven hours later.

In reasons for her judgment, which were supressed until now to allow both parties to redact commercially sensitive information, Justice Michelle Gordon said Mr Greiner had intimate knowledge of the deal which resulted in his affiliated firm winning a “fee”.

“Put simply, Greiner was involved and had knowledge of the essential elements from the start to the finish,” she said.

“(His) subjective, operative purpose was equally to ensure that Castle Harlan (of which Mr Greiner is affiliated) made a bid.”

Bradken expressed an interest in buying Norcast in 2011.

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