Milton Orkopoulos

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Milton Orkopoulos
Born (1957-07-22) 22 July 1957 (age 56)
Occupation Former politician
Criminal penalty
13 years 9 months (eligible for parole after 9 year 3 months)
Criminal status
Incarcerated
Conviction(s) Child sex offences
Drug offences
Milton Orkopoulos
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Swansea
In office
27 March 1999 – 13 November 2006
Preceded by Jill Hall
Succeeded by Robert Coombs
Personal details
Born (1957-07-22) 22 July 1957 (age 56)
Nationality  Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party

Milton Orkopoulos (born 22 July 1957) is a former New South Wales state politician. A member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1999, Orkopoulos was appointed Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship in August 2005.

In November 2006, New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma dismissed him as a Minister and of a member of the Australian Labor Party after he was charged with child sex and other offences. The following week, he resigned as MP for the state electorate of Swansea. On 14 March 2008, Orkopoulos was convicted on charges relating to child sex offences and the supply of drugs. In May 2008, he was sentenced to 13 years in jail.

History[edit]

Early life[edit]

Orkopoulos briefly trained as a nurse before studying economics at the University of Newcastle. He went on to work for BHP and as an electorate officer for MPs Peter Morris, Don Bowman and Jill Hall. He married and had three children.[1]

Political career[edit]

From 1995 until 1999, Orkopoulos represented the ALP on Lake Macquarie City Council. In March 1999, he was elected to represent Swansea in the Legislative Assembly for Labor, and joined the Socialist Left faction. In August 2005 he was promoted to the front bench, serving in the low-profile portfolios of Aboriginal Affairs and Citizenship.[1]

Former NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, served as his Chief of Staff before joining the staff of then-Premier in 2006.

Arrest and conviction[edit]

On 5 November 2006, Police Minister John Watkins was informed by police commissioner Ken Moroney that Orkopoulos was about to be charged with child sex offences. Moroney later explained that the Orkopolous case "is an issue that would be discussed in the normal course of events between us."[2] The call, which resulted in the Premier's office knowing that the arrest of a senior colleague was imminent, raised questions as to the political independence of the New South Wales Police. Legal commentator Richard Ackland wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that "I can't think of a solid reason why third parties should be told by the police that they are about to nab someone important."[3]

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On 7 November 2006 Orkopoulos was arrested and charged with 30 offences including involvement in child prostitution, sexual assault and supplying illegal drugs.[4][5]

Premier Morris Iemma immediately sacked him from Cabinet, and he was also expelled from the Labor Party. Orkopoulos denied the charges but indicated that he would not contest his Swansea electorate at the 2007 state election. He resigned from Parliament on 13 November 2006[6][7] and reportedly attempted suicide the next day.[8]

The Government also passed legislation to suspend or remove Parliamentary pension entitlements for any Member who resigns when charged with serious crimes prior to the resolution of charges.[9] The provisions of the legislation permitted its retrospective application to Orkopoulos.[10]

Further charges were laid against Orkopoulos on 16 April 2007.[11] On 14 March 2008 he was found guilty of 28 offences relating to sexual assault of a minor, indecent assault and supplying heroin and cannabis.[12] On 21 May 2008 Orkopoulos was sentenced to 13 years and 11 months in jail, with a non-parole period of 9 years and 3 months.[13] In March 2009, he lodged a challenge against his conviction in the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.[14]

Appeal[edit]

On 25 August 2009 the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal rejected Orkopoulos' appeal against his conviction but reduced his maximum sentence to 13 years and eight months (instead of the 13 years and 11 months sentence by the trial court) with a non-parole period of nine years.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mr Milton Orkopoulos (1957 - )". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Clennell, Andrew (10 November 2006). "Briefing was appropriate: Moroney". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  3. ^ Ackland, Richard (10 November 2006). "Premier cast as both goose and gander". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  4. ^ "MP 'bought teen sex using public funds'". The Australian. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "Teen sex on the taxpayers". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  6. ^ Frew, Wendy (11 November 2006). "Orkopoulos quits parliament". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  7. ^ "Milton Orkopoulos resigns". News.com.au; AAP. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "Family holds vigil at Orkopoulos's bedside". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  9. ^ "Sex-case politician may lose his pension". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 
  10. ^ "Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Amendment (Criminal Charges and Convictions) Act 2006, No 93" (PDF). Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, Parliament of New South Wales. November 2006. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  11. ^ "MP faces more child sex charges". The Age. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  12. ^ "Orkopoulos found guilty". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  13. ^ Keene, Neil (21 May 2008). "Milton Orkopoulos sentenced". Daily Telegraph, The. 
  14. ^ "Former NSW MP Milton Orkopolous is appealing child sex and drug offences". The Australian. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/judges-reject-orkopoulos-appeal/1605712.aspx | Newcastle Herald 26 August 2009
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Jill Hall
Member for Swansea
1999 – 2006
Succeeded by
Robert Coombs