The sacked former chief information officer of South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet has been sentenced to 25 months in jail for employment dishonesty and abuse of office.
Veronica Theriault, 46, was sentenced at Adelaide’s District Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud and deception in August 2018.
She was fired as the department’s CIO in September 2017 after only seven weeks in the job over concerns she had lied when applying for the $270,000 position and abused public office.
Theriault had claimed to have worked at several large technology firms and universities.
Handing down the sentence, first reported by the ABC, Judge Boylan described Theriault’s dishonesty in relation to her job application and abuse of public office as “serious offending”.
“You fraudulently obtained employment for which you were paid a large salary, and in the course of which you may have had access to sensitive material,” he said.
Judge Boylan said Theriault’s curriculum vitae [CV] had contained “false and misleading information” about her prior education and employment, when she applied for
She also impersonated one of her references for the job – a ‘Ms Best’, who gave “glowing feedback”.
He said Theriault was then able to continue the deception with the help of her brother Alan Hugh Melville Corkill, who has also been sentenced for deception after pleading guilty.
“You arranged that he would supply to the department a reference in which he said that he had worked for you when you were employed at Wotif,” Judge Boylan said.
“That reference contained false information. Neither you nor your brother had ever worked at Wotif.”
Theriault also arranged for her brother to be awarded a $21,000 “service integration team leader” contract
Judge Boylan said the sentence of 25 months and six days imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 12 months, took into account a discount of 30 percent and Theriault’s mental health difficulties at the time of the offences.
“While your deceitful conduct may well have been easily discovered had appropriate and prompt checks been made, I do not regard your conduct as being without some sophistication,” he said.
“You plainly planned some of it and some of it was planned with you brother.”
Although not a factor in her sentencing, Theriault also attempted to negotiate a higher salary by falsifying a pay slip to show what salary she would have been earning in the private sector.