Dumped LNP candidate and born-again feminist Hajnal Ban has announced on her blog that has surrendered power of attorney she held over the welfare and fortune of an elderly man previously under her care. Â She had already been suspended as his financial power of attorney by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal pending further hearings into her actions. Her resignation means that she will â€“ for now â€“ escape judicial scrutiny of her actions while she was in control of the manâ€™s funds and appeared to dissipate most of them.
MANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED
The manâ€™s principal asset was a development site where he also lived that had been valued over $5 million that was later sold to people known to Ban for just over $2 million. Under her governance, his funds have been all but depleted, according to information provided to the courts, some expended perfectly legitimately on the old manâ€™s aged care facility and very large amounts expended on Ban herself, including on her wedding and other personal expenses including improvements to her own property. Locals claim there was indecent haste in the sale of the property, which they say was Banâ€™s attempt to keep control of the manâ€™s assets from his family members. One of his family members attended the hearing into the issue.
It is not clear whether she will be repaying these funds to the old man, they amount to many hundreds of thousands of dollars locals say.
Her explanations of how all this came to happen have been incomplete, giving rise to the most scandalous suggestions and very substantial political concerns in what she now describes as a male-dominated LNP hierarchy. Few could credibly dispute their decision to disendorse her in these circumstances although Ban has declared war on them, with some locals believing she could even run against the party at coming federal and state elections.
Ban has denied sheâ€™d be quitting the party though:
There is no secret that the brutal LNP boys club never supported my candidacy. The reality is this; (sic) I plan on staying around in the LNP and holding those men to account for their actionsâ€¦
Ban has publicly declared that her finances were â€œintertwinedâ€ with the old man for nine years but has not explained whether this was because they were enjoyed a close personal relationship, he was just generous or had practically adopted her or whatever the case may be. It is certainly a highly unusual situation and has some locals rushing to conclusions.
DUTY TO DISCLOSE
She is still a public official, as a full-time Logan city councillor, and itâ€™s not unreasonable that the public receive a full explanation about why she came be in control of the manâ€™s funds. Certainly his family, who are believed to have complained to regulators in the first place, are entitled to know what happened and why. Local sources say the familyâ€™s view of Ban is not positive despite her insistence that her priority has been to care for the elderly gentleman, they say that Ban has acted like a â€œgold-diggerâ€.
Indeed, her husband, an ex-ALP member turned LNP activist and Logan councillor, Sean Black, appears to have also been in receipt of the old manâ€™s loot too and even purchased a large diamond engagement ring with the proceeds according to well-informed sources. He also has some explaining to do about why he was relying on the funds of an old friend of his wifeâ€™s to buy his wife jewellery. Black has not explained much about his transformation from an ALP member named in the Shepherdson inquiry into electoral fraud to that of an LNP activist so voters might be looking to that too.
The tone of Banâ€™s blog entry was that this funny money incident was now resolved:
The hearing date for later this month has been cancelled, and no other matters are before the tribunalâ€¦Now that this particular matter has been settled by the tribunal, I am looking forward to rebuilding my career and reputation.
And yet there are many unanswered questions about bizarre case. It is unknown whether family members of the old man have made complaints to regulators that could go beyond the Office of Adult Guardian. Certainly her dealings with the old manâ€™s money are curious, suspicious even. It would not greatly surprise anyone if these matters were investigated by Queensland Police, itâ€™s hard to know based on what weâ€™ve read whether theyâ€™d have much of a case with a central issue being whether the man had consented to her taking his money.
Ban is entitled to the presumption of innocence, even in this forum of rough justice.
But her constituents are also entitled to a full explanation theyâ€™ve so far been denied and while sheâ€™s been keen to rip into the â€œLNP hierarchyâ€ on feminist grounds, sheâ€™s been awfully silent on her blog about how she was able to get control of the old manâ€™s money and why she felt so free to spend it as if it was her own.