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Sir Terence O'Rort
27 April, 2005  
Toasting Marshmallow

Former directior of professional conduct at the Queensland Law Society fails in stay application. Charges relating to misuse of a QLS credit card to be tried in July


imageEven though Rod “Rocket” Welford has effectively buried the old hacks at the Queensland Law Society by stripping them of important powers and most of their funding, a few ghosts still rattle about.

Former QLS Director of Professional Conduct, Nick “Marshmallow” Masinello, has failed in a bid to stay the charges brought against him as a result of a complaint by his former employer, the Queensland Law Society.

Marshmallow is charged with misusing his QLS American Express card to the tune of $15,095.08. Given the past excesses of the QLS it is a puzzle why Masinello is being picked on.

Marshmallow’s case is that while he may have breached his contract with the QLS by using the credit card in the manner alleged, he did not do so dishonestly.

District Court Judge Warren “Hoppy” Howell dismissed Marshmallow’s application because the Crown in its written submissions pointed to evidence that:

  • When first challenged by the QLS Masinello claimed that the reason he could not pay back the money was that the ANZ had treated a cash deposit as a cheque deposit and he could not access the funds. However, a search of his bank records did not bear out this claim.
  • When later challenged by the QLS about the QLS Amex card Marshmallow is alleged to have said that he had only used the card because he had mistaken it for a similar American Express card held by his family company. Unfortunately, Marshmallow’s family company did not hold an Amex card.
  • Marshmallow was challenged by the QLS about an absence from work and he said that he had to deal with marital problems. In fact he was on holidays at Hayman Island and used the QLS Amex card to pay for the holiday.

    The trial is set down to commence on July 4, 2005. Officious bystanders expect fireworks at the trial if the credit card records of other QLS employees are produced.

    Sir Terence ORort reporting