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Victoria Police launches formal investigation into Labor’s red shirt scandal

Victoria Police will launch a criminal investigation into Labor’s red-shirt scandal.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told Neil Mitchell yesterday he would have a decision on whether a formal investigation would get underway “within days”.

Today police have confirmed they undertook a reassessment of the material in relation to allegations of misuse of parliamentary budget entitlements.

A formal investigation will now be conducted by the Fraud and Extortion Squad.

It follows the Ombudsman’s report released in March, which found 21 MPs were embroiled in the so-called rorts for votes scheme, which cost taxpayers $388,000.

Twenty one Labor MPs were found to have spent a combined $387,000 on electorate officers who were instead working as campaigners for the ALP.

The Opposition is calling for the dumping of six ministers involved in the scheme, including Police Minister Lisa Neville and Attorney General Martin Pakula, while the investigation is completed.

Shadow Police Minister Edward O’Donohue told Tom Elliott a police minister can’t stay in the job while they’re being actively investigated by police.

“She should seriously consider her position,” Mr O’Donohue said.

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“Probably standing down from the cabinet is a good idea,” Tom said.

“It is a tawdry affair, and I can almost guarantee it won’t be sorted out by the state election, so we’ll be voting with blind folds on.”

The state election is set for November 24.