SUPERGRASS: Soon to be convicted criminal now in charge of Star News Group titles

stephenlinnell2 Disgraced former Police Communications director Stephen Linnell has popped up at the financially challenged, debt-laden Star News Group to manage its north-western and Geelong based local newspapers.

VEXNEWS revealed last year that the company – closely associated with dodgy Casey CEO Mike Tyler – was in serious financial trouble due to a multi-million dollar debt facility it was having difficulty servicing due to a steady decline in ad sales.

A former employee of the Melbourne Age where he was understood to have been a frequent flyer at the Men’s Gallery, Linnell has been in the wars himself after last year pleading guilty to three counts of perjury and three counts of disclosing confidential information about a summons.

It is interesting to see that imminent criminal convictions for lying under oath are no obstacle to a senior editorial role at the Star News Group.

It is interesting to see that imminent criminal convictions for lying under oath are no obstacle to a senior editorial role at the Star News Group.

Certainly, despite committing multiple dishonesty offences, Linnell might be seen to be comparatively honest by the standard set by Star’s unofficial Mike Tyler mouthpiece, Jim Mynard, a grumpy old bird whose primary role is defending the infamous Casey council CEO seen by locals as responsible for poisoning nearly 1000 homes with a municipal landfill that made Three Mile Island look safe. Mynard had been on overseas trips with the council boss and was generally obsequious in his coverage of Tyler.

So at Star, dishonesty is no disqualification for a senior role in reporting facts. Certainly not if Mynard or Linnell are the definitive guide.

Nor does ratting out your mates render one unemployable either it seems, as Linnell has already told the Office of Public Prosecutions that he’d be happy to drop former Police Association leader Paul Mullett and former assistant commissioner Noel Ashby in the poo in return for a sweetheart deal.

Legal sources have told VEXNEWS that by ratting out Ashby and Mullett Linnell was able to avoid charges of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice that could easily attract a serious custodial penalty. A maximum sentence of twenty five years would theoretically have been possible.

Instead Linnell has chosen a long sentence at the less than financially robust Star News Group. Justice comes in many forms, we suppose.

Despite his less than stellar public record, the Star News Group preferred to concentrate on his career at Melbourne’s nearly terminal left-wing daily, The Age, ignoring his illustrious service at VicPol where he offended Nana Nixon so much that she threw the book at him and his mates. The small matter of five serious imminent criminal convictions was also airbrushed out of the picture.

The man has to work and it’s a big drop in pay apparently, and despite our disgust at the slop served up by Star News we wish the supergrass well. We just hope that his tosser colleagues like Jim Mynard stop taking themselves so seriously and stop defending Victoria’s most indefensible local government boss who has literally cost local residents tens – if not hundreds – of millions through his abject incompetence and indolence.

For while Linnell has pleaded guilty and will soon be a convicted criminal, it is the Casey council boss who has earned himself a special place in hell for ruining the lives of thousands of Casey residents while pretending it wasn’t his fault. VEXNEWS understands that local residents in the Brooklands Green estate have been told by banks that they will not value any property in that area higher than $150,000, including homes that previously sold for as much as $700,000. There are nearly one thousand such homes. Thousands of people whose lives are on hold thanks to Mike Tyler and his bungling regime.

A local newspaper that cared for its readers and fulfilled that basic journalist’s function of speaking truth to power would be doing as we do, demanding Mike Tyler’s scalp and asking the wealthy man to put his hand in his pocket to personally compensate the people he so negligently shafted.



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17 responses to “SUPERGRASS: Soon to be convicted criminal now in charge of Star News Group titles

  1. Annon Annonski

    Managing the north western star newspapers puts him squarely in the territory of the infamous Brimbank Council and George Seitz -a less salubrious locale one can’t imagine!

  2. Anonymous

    Being bankrupt doesn’t prevent others from running online news sites.

  3. cheryl bernard

    Perhaps next time you are going to write SHIT you may want to put your name on it instead of being a coward and hiding.

  4. Anonymous

    Where’s my $950 at ?????

  5. Anonymous

    You’re a cockhead Landeryou. Star was going broke how many months ago yet still they keep arriving in my letterbox and keeping the local council to account (unlike the other free weekly which runs all of the councils advertising). And when you talk of integrity the whole world – except for your Unity clowns – has a bit of a giggle. Go eat KFC and concentrate on the things you’re good at: stealing money and telling lies.

  6. Anonymous

    The age had this story at the start of last year….


    So did we actually, this story follows up their official announcement of same. Please get back to work.

  8. Fastoola Bubcuss

    As Cheryl said, put your name on the story you gutless piece of SHIT. As a journalist, you have pointed out the importance of truth….did you check your facts?? NO!! He is not a convicted criminal….you pathetic moron, he still has to go to court. As for the rest of your so called story……….great fairy tale!
    You would have to be the lowest piece of
    rhinocerous pizzle I have ever had the misfortune to read. Get a fucking life and find a job that suits……dumb fuck!!!

  9. Pongo

    A double libel! Dear oh dear!

  10. Fred

    Hardly he’s pleading guilty, criminal he is.

  11. Fastoola Bubcuss

    He may get a criminal conviction, but this dude was a fall guy for Ashby and Mama Nixon. He’s taken a bullet for all those cops out there who want a return to real policing. Not the soft cock stuff being put forward by Nixon and her crony Overland.

  12. Anonymous

    Casey council CEO seen by locals as responsible for poisoning nearly 1000 homes

    No – it was the Brumby Government that poisoned 1000 homes – without them – the homes would not have been there.

  13. Casey patriots

    Not correct actually. Let’s wait for the Omudsman’s report and the lawsuit from the residents against the council to play itself out. Note the residents aren’t suing the Victorian Government, they are suing Casey council. And note that while the Victorian Government has changed management a couple of times since Casey’s toxic dump started, Mike Tyler the current CEO has consistently been in senior positions there all the way through.

    In a huge mess of this magnitude, there’s plenty of blame to go around that’s true.

    But those like Mike Tyler who allowed the toxic dump to operate for years, failing to do anything about it and then denying responsibility for it and failing to compensate the 1000 home-owners is wrong and he must be made to pay for it.

    Those who’ve defended him like Steve Beardon have already paid for it by being unceremoniously dumped by voters.

    It’s Tyler’s turn now. He must go.

  14. acp

    Casey Patriot……you are spot on.
    It’s time the that Casey’s head honcho stand up to his responsibility and stop trying to attribute blame to everyone else except the council which he has overseen for over 15 years.
    Everyone knows it was the Shire of Cranbourne and its councillors (including current Casey Councillor Wayne ‘I love my overseas trips’ Smith), who decided to open the original landfill site in the early 90’s without installing a clay lining. Even as world’s best practice in 1994 (when Casey was created and the reign of Tyler commenced) was that clay linings must be used irrespective of the soil content which the site was located, this council (Casey) continued to open up in the individual holes (actual dump sites) without any lining. If Casey Council had of not skimped on money in those early days and clay lined the majority of holes, none of this would have occurred. Know doubt, the EPA will have questions to answer as to why this organisation allowed / licensed Casey to continue to open individual holes without clay lining, but ultimately, it is the Council’s responsibility.

    The damage had already been done before the 2004 VCAT hearing which council officers ultimately agreed to with the developer to allow construction to continue up to the boundary of the landfill site. This agreement only exacerbated the problem and increased the number of people affected, however, as said earlier, the damage had already had been done.

    This council needs to stand up to its responsibility and ultimately hold TYLER accountable as eventually, the buck stops with this overpaid, underqualified CEO.

    The previous council, or at least 7 of them (HALSALL,MORLAND, HETHERTON,WREFORD,BEARDON,SMITH,BUTLER) all stood up for TYLER and pushed his campaign that it was not the fault of the council and it was all the fault of the State Government, i.e, VACT and the EPA. The residents aren’t stupid and that is why 5 of those 7 were voted out (noting Butler didn’t stand but would have lost to current Mayor ABLETT). All will be revealed once the ombudsman report is made public, which it will, and it is at this point that the new council MUST hold TYLER accountable and not allow personal friendships to stand in the way of them doing what that were elected to do, and that is hold council officers accountable and not just befriend them.

  15. Labor Caused Brookland Greens

    VCAT used Labor’s planning policy to roll Casey and allow housing to be built on the buffer. The class action is a tool to force the government to the negotiating table and to pay compensation. Polls show the likley loss of 3 Labor held seats at the next 2010 state election. Truth will always prevail!

  16. EPA blocking release of methane documents

    So why is the EPA flouting the FOI rules to hide documents???? What are they hiding?

  17. Is a Cranbourne By Election in the wind?

    So is Bradford lining up for Labor pre-selection for Cranbourne when poor old Jude realises that he’d better retire due to ill health than risk losing the seat without getting his super? I have a big file on Kev goign back to the police days!

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