THE security of some of Australia's most sensitive criminal investigations is in doubt following revelations that a Queensland detective implicated in a damning report into police corruption has been employed by one of the country's top crime-fighting bodies.
Barely one week after Queensland's Crime and Misconduct Commission exposed serious corruption within the ranks of the Queensland Police Service, The Australian can reveal one of the officers cited in the CMC's Dangerous Liaisons report now works with the Australian Crime Commission.
The Australian understands the officer took the job with the ACC just months after he allegedly helped contrive a bogus police raid in 2003 aimed at concealing the theft of up to $250,000 in drug money.
The revelations came as the spectre of official corruption in Queensland was highlighted by veteran anti-corruption reformer Tony Fitzgerald QC, who warned on Tuesday that the "Moonlight State" was sliding back to its "dark past".
The Australian understands the ACC has been forced to take the highly unusual step of limiting the access of the officer, who was employed in the sensitive deep undercover unit, as a "controller" of informants.
The officer is also one of several staff members suspected of having leaked an embarrassing file note on former home affairs minister Bob Debus, written by a senior ACC officer.
The contents of the note subsequently appeared in the media, detailing Mr Debus's drinking habits and his view on politics and police corruption.
Despite the ACC's concerns, the agency has been unable to rid itself of the employee, who works as a public servant, not a police officer.
The officer was dismissed from the ACC in 2004, but was reinstated after he appealed against his sacking in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
It is understood he is on leave.
Sources told The Australian yesterday the ACC and the CMC had been in talks about the man, who is suspected of taking money from convicted murderer and underworld figure Lee Henderson.
The Dangerous Liaisons report found detectives had induced confessions, accepted payments from criminals and provided confidential information to prisoners.
It painted a damning picture of the former detective, accusing him of helping to contrive a police raid on a suspected drug dealer in October 2003 in order to conceal the theft of up to $250,000 in drug money from a neighbouring property.
The theft was orchestrated by Henderson from his prison cell, apparently with the help of the officer who also helped divert Henderson's prison calls, thereby ensuring they could not be monitored.
A .357 revolver hidden with the cash was later recovered by the detective, who claimed to have received an anonymous tip-off about the weapon's location.
But the detective made no attempt to have ballistics tests performed on the gun, despite being "told" it had been used in a string of armed robberies and home invasions.
"The clear inference is that Henderson arranged for (the officer) to collect the revolver," the CMC said.
The CMC said the "very best" that could be said of the detective was that he had allowed himself to be manipulated by a prison informant.
The report also accused the officer of taking money from Henderson.
"Evidence of payments to (the officer), who is now employed by another law enforcement agency, is not detailed in this report, but has been conveyed to the relevant agency," the report said.
CMC and ACC officers met this week in Brisbane to discuss the officer's case, ahead of the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption conference.
It is understood the detective resigned from the QPS in January 2004 with a reference supporting his application to work for the ACC. He quit the QPS as the CMC was making preliminary inquiries into the allegations of police misconduct, and just before the official launch in April 2006 of "Operation Capri" -- the investigation that would form the bedrock of the Liaisons report.
The QPS said in a statement there had been no formal requests for information from the ACC on the matter. But it is understood the QPS has had "informal" discussions with the ACC just before the release of the CMC report on July 22.
"He left just as Operation Capri was being launched, so they wasn't any black marks about it on his record when he moved over to the ACC," a source said.
"I think he saw the writing was on the wall."
One source told The Australian the ACC had no knowledge of the officer's alleged misconduct when he was hired in 2004. Another source played down concerns the officer would have enjoyed widespread access to high-level intelligence, saying the ACC operated on a strict need-to-know basis.
The CMC said it could not comment on specific officers implicated in the misconduct investigation.
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