High-ranking public servant charged with ‘abuse of office’
NT Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne has been charged with abuse of office.
NT Police, in a statement released this afternoon, said they had charged a 54-year-old woman with abuse of office after an investigation by the Special References Unit.
Ms Gwynne was handed a notice to appear in court on August 27, 2020.
The NT News understands the charge relates to the hiring of a staff member.
The NT's criminal code defines "abuse of office" as "any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of the person's office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years" and "if the act is done or directed to be done for purposes of gain, the person is liable to imprisonment for three years".
A spokesman for Ms Gwynne told the NT News she would be vigorously defending the charge.
Ms Gwynne, who started in the role in 2015, was reappointed as Children's Commissioner in May this year for a period of five years.
During her time as Children's Commissioner, Ms Gwynne has implemented significant reforms into protection and detention of children, after previously serving as police commander.
Ms Gwynne had a 26 year career in the Northern Territory police.
She is widely known as the woman who helped convict Peter Falconio's murderer Bradley John Murdoch.
Ms Gwynne is also a five-time premiership coach for the Waratah Women's football team.
The NTFL Women's Best and Fairest Award was re-named the Gwynne Medal in 2016 after Ms Gwynne who had a big role in developing women's football in the Northern Territory.
She was also an assistant coach for the Adelaide Crows women's team.
Originally published as High-ranking NT public servant charged with 'abuse of office'