The Saints girl was once at the centre of the world’s most popular office joke.
Police, lawyers are other boys clubs thought it was hysterical. Andrew Demetriou’s public reaction was one of outrage.
After all, Police Officers are people who carry out investigations into transgressions of the law, charge people and are custodians of evidence. Surely he would know that.
After all, the AFL also conduct investigations when complaints are made about their conduct don’t they?
Police Officers co-operate with the AFL don’t they?
The two organisations also saw fit to create a special Memorandum of Understanding by which information is exchanged with the AFL to further the investigation of unlawful activity.
Why wouldn’t Andrew Demetriou act on the information which he could be taken to know constituted illegal conduct?
This was information which contained the names and identities of both AFL players and Police Officers who had been complicit in onforwarding the emails.
It becomes very serious given that the emails were then the subject of a complaint by the Saints girl to the AFL.
Demetriou, as the CEO of the AFL was officially in charge of that investigation.
Andrew Demetriou pointed the finger at many people for onforwarding the viral email revealing the identity of the Saints girl, a minor.
Not only was this information potentially relevant to the breach of the law by AFL players and Police Officers in the leaking of her identity, but also potentially a range of other illegal conduct.
It would have also been obvious to anybody who saw the content of the emails that they would have been actionable by the girl as a civil matter in an action for defamation and re-publication of defamatory material. These emails had names on them. Defamation takes place in each place where material is published.
Yet all Demetriou was prepared to say to Neil Mitchell when confronted by the fact that former AFL players were involved in the forwarding of the email was the following:
“(they) haven’t probably been the beneficiaries of the [AFL’s] respect and responsibility policy“.
There was nothing whatsoever to stop him publishing the names of the people, two of whom were ex St Kilda Players and holding them accountable to the spirit of the Policy he so proudly speaks of. I havn’t seen any beneficiaries of the various policies, all of which have been more honoured in the breach than the observance.
The most serious aspect of Demetriou’s behaviour is that he didn’t see fit to investigate the evidence and/or name any of these AFL players.
I’d call this a conflict of interest Demetriou.
There was no attempt to act on these emails, as an organisation involved in the investigation of a complaint made by the girl.
To make matters worse, we then discover that copies of emails obtained by the Age show that they were forwarded by both past and present St Kilda Players.
Neil Mitchell in an interview with 3AW asked Demetriou specifically whether he had looked at the emails, and Demetriou told us he had, yet sidestepped the issue by making a remark to the effect that there was little one could do about these things.
Andrew Demetriou, these were emails which contained the names of those who were implicated in the very subject matter of the complaint which was made to your organisation.
Furthermore they contained the names and identities of those persons, which by the way not only included two present and former Saints players but also staff at the AFL Players Association.
There is something that doesn’t ring true of Demetriou’s condemnation of the staff at the Department of Justice, the Transport Accident Commission and Melbourne Magistrate’s Court, and stockbrokers, the other culprits.
The girl had made a complaint.
You were in possession of information relevant to that complaint for which there were enforcement mechanisms.
You made a deliberate and conscious choice not to take action in relation to the evidence in your possession or make it available to the complainant.
Remember that this is information which is related to potential illegality and which is actionable.
I’d call that suppressing evidence.
Andrew Demetriou should step down and resign for misconduct.
Defamation occurs in each place material is published and in depriving her of that information the AFL’s investigative processes are highly suspect.
Interestingly, in a throwaway comment in discussing the sending of infringing emails during the interview with Neil Mitchell, Demetriou explained how he saw fit to contact the law firm of an email which he found offensive in relation to himself.
Demetriou described how his complaint to the law firm led to the dismissal of the employee author of the email.
That seems like a bit of a double standard Andrew.
It sounds a lot like suppression or concealment of evidence relevant to a breach of the law, a breach by named Police Officers, and the others in your own camp.
It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest however as we know that Fevola wasn’t dealt with for forwarding the email relating to Lara Bingle.
It seems as though there is an attitude of selective enforcement out at the AFL.
When it comes to Nick and Demetriou the joke turns sour and big boys start crying.
When it concerns a young teenager it is fair game.
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