Ex Agriculture department employee sentenced for abuse of public office

By Shannon Jenkins

March 30, 2021

Jarrod Entwistle to 23 months of imprisonment.
Jarrod Entwistle is sentenced to 23 months of imprisonment. (Image: Adobe/tiero)

An ex federal public servant has been ordered to pay $10,000 and complete 500 hours of community service for misusing his role, including by accessing restricted government systems hundreds of times.

The District Court of New South Wales on Friday sentenced former biosecurity officer Jarrod Entwistle to 23 months of imprisonment, to be served through an intensive corrections order, for one offence of abuse of public office. He has also been fined $10,000 with 500 hours of community service.

The prosecution follows a joint investigation between the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), the Australian Federal Police’s National Anti-Gangs Squad, and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) — which was known as the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) at the time of Entwistle’s employment.

ACLEI said the investigation, Operation Zelinsky, was prompted by information that Outlaw Motorcycle Gang associates had established an importing business with Entwistle, “acting as a silent partner”.

“While initially unaware of their associations with OMCG, Mr Entwistle was deliberately groomed by the OMCG associates to gain benefits for the business,” ACLEI said in a statement.

The investigation found Entwistle had used DAWR and Customs systems to monitor the imports of a business he had an interest in, Nano Logistics Pty Ltd, and had researched confidential information about competitors to gain a commercial advantage. Between April 2016 and October 2017, Entwistle made 220 unauthorised accesses in the systems.

ACLEI head Jaala Hinchcliffe said the agency has welcomed the NSW District Court’s sentencing decision.

“This decision reinforces the important oversight role ACLEI fulfils in relation to the integrity of Australian government law enforcement agencies, including DAWE,” she said in a statement.

“Criminal entities can use benefits such as business opportunities to seek to corrupt commonwealth law enforcement officials. The use of corrupt relationships with law enforcement officials to circumvent laws or gain competitive and financial advantage will not be tolerated.”

READ MORE: Agriculture department reviewing $13m overspend on water buyback


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