Background Checking

Jail official Peter Nash passed rigorous testing before being hired


Source: News –

A senior Queensland public servant accused of secretly helping to run a $1.2 billion website that traded drugs and cash from his computer within his Wacol prison office passed the state’s rigorous vetting process before being hired.

Peter Philip Nash was subjected to a national criminal history check under the Newman Government’s beefed-up screening checks before he was hired as a senior clinician at Wacol forensic disability unit.

His name was run through the national criminal database CrimTrac by the Queensland Police Service before being given the all-clear to work.

Five years later, the 41-year-old behavioural scientist is facing extradition to the US on charges of conspiracy to traffic narcotics, computer hacking and money laundering after allegedly pocketing between $US50, 000 and $US75, 000 a year helping to run an illegal online marketplace.

“Since the Morehu-Barlow case, departmental policy was broadened to ensure all departmental staff are subject to criminal history checks upon engagement,” she said.

She said before the Morehu-Barlow case, staff who did not work with children had previously not been subjected to criminal history checks in all cases.

Nash was dismissed on December 23 — the same day the department was advised that he had been arrested by the Australian Federal Police three days earlier.

While colleagues raised eyebrows about Nash after he insisted on having two computers, the act alone did not breach of government policy, she said.

There is no restriction on public servants bringing their own devices to work.

But the devices are not allowed to be connected to the departmental computer network.

It was later discovered that a computer used by Nash had encryption software installed.

Nash will appear before an extradition hearing in Brisbane next week.

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