Spent conviction leaves Stokes nearly scot-free
The West Australian Government has lost an appeal against a spent conviction given to public servant Gary Stokes, who was found guilty of leaking confidential information to a former Premier.
Mr Stokes was deputy director of the Department of Industry and Resources until a case went to trial accusing him of giving a private letter detailing the planned re-zoning of land to Brian Burke in 2006. Mr Burke served as Premier of WA from 1983 to 1988.
The charges stem from email correspondences between the two, wherein Mr Stokes provided several letters and reports from the now-defunct Department of Industry and Resources to Mr Burke. The letters related to a proposal to re-zone mining lands as residential, importantly before current mining work had concluded. Mr Burke was at the time working as a lobbyist for a mining group interested in buying the land.
Mr Burke and Mr Stokes stood trial together, though the former Premier was found not guilty of procuring the information. Stokes was fined $1,500 and given a spent conviction, which under most circumstances would mean he does not have to acknowledge he was charged with and convicted of an offence.
The state had sought an appeal of the decision which was today overturned.