Prison psychologist’s ‘inappropriate’ contact
A PRISON psychologist has sensationally been charged over alleged inappropriate interactions with a convicted drug trafficker, in a shocking new scandal at the state's most lenient jail.
Sarah Lodington, 37, a former psychologist at the low-security Palen Creek prison farm, has been banned from contacting prisoner and convicted drug trafficker Allen Marcel Milos and his family while she awaits court.
And in a separate incident at the controversial prison, The Sunday Mail has been told a convicted fraudster was chauffeured to sit university exams, with taxpayers footing half the bill.
The Sunday Mail has learnt police began investigating Lodington after receiving a referral from Queensland Corrective Services about alleged inappropriate contact with a prisoner.
Police will allege phones were purchased under an inmate's name and taken into the jail.
Lodington was charged with one count of misconduct in relation to public office and bringing a prohibited item into a jail in February this year.
A signed bail undertaking in court documents stated she was to have no contact with Milos, who was in the jail at the time of the alleged offences, his brother Daniel or Daniel's wife.
Allen Milos has since been transferred to Capricornia jail near Rockhampton.
Daniel, who ran the successful restaurant Mariosarti at Toowong, is facing separate cocaine trafficking and money laundering charges in court.
Their brother Peter, a chef, was murdered in 2014.
One charge of misconduct in relation to public office against Lodington was dropped in May, however this week she was hit with two new counts, as well as one charge of disclosing confidential information.
The maximum penalty for the misconduct offence is seven years' jail.
A QCS spokeswoman said Lodington was no longer an employee.
Lodington's lawyer Dale Hooper, who didn't return calls after the new charges, earlier described the contraband charge as a relatively minor offence and said his client had not been disciplined by her previous employer.
"The court will be provided with evidence that her phone was in the office that day because of a family circumstance that required our client's immediate attention," he said.
The allegations follow controversy over the prison wedding of convicted drug trafficker Terrence Thornbury, who served Moreton Bay bugs, prawns and prime-cut steaks to more than 30 guests in May.
Despite a "custodial operations practice directive" on weddings stating a deputy commissioner must be informed of the application details prior to any decision being made by the general manager, a QCS spokeswoman said this did not occur.
The Sunday Mail can also reveal that former financial planner and convicted fraud Shaun Daniel Fitzgerald, who stole over $1.6 million from clients, was taken out of Palen Creek prison twice to attend university exams in Toowoomba late last year.
An officer was understood to have been paid for more than 10 hours to escort him, according to prison sources.
But QCS said the prisoner paid half the cost of the escort and transport.
"This occurred after a thorough security analysis of the individual prisoner, who has an exemplary disciplinary record, both at Palen Creek and at work camps in the community," a QCS spokeswoman said.