Union official facing sack over calls made to escorts
A SENIOR union official is under investigation after his work phone was used to place more than a hundred calls to escorts.
But Communications Workers Union national assistant secretary John O'Donnell refuses to budge, claiming he engaged in no wrongdoing and some of the calls were to friends and a "soccer team" he coached.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal the nasty fight brewing inside the CWU, which represents thousands of Australia Post and Telstra workers, with Mr O'Donnell even threatening to smear the union's national boss with baseless and unsubstantiated claims he has spent "time rummaging throughout brothels in Asia".
Mobile call logs obtained by The Telegraph show 108 calls were made on Mr O'Donnell's phone between August 2015 and November last year to phone numbers linked to online ads for escort services.
At least 20 of those calls, made from the phone owned and paid for by the union, were made during office hours.
"$400hr** AMY Swedish model All nymphette looks horny bedroom eyes," reads one ad linked to a phone number called several times last year.
Another number, called seven times in one afternoon while Mr O'Donnell was meant to be at work, is linked to a 24-year old escort in Melbourne. The number was also called more than a dozen times over the next two months.
The Telegraph cross-referenced one of the most frequently called numbers, included on several online ads. One ad describes the owner of the number as "that sex kitten bunny you have been thinking about".
"The pretty girl in a tight shirt and bright smile that walks passed your office every day," it reads.
There is no evidence the union paid for any escort services. A CWU spokesman said "the union takes the conduct of its officials incredibly seriously, and expects the highest standards of behaviour and integrity".
"This matter has been referred for external investigation," he said.
Mr O'Donnell was informed of a pending investigation on October 5, according to emails.
In correspondence with the union, his lawyers said his phone had been stolen and denied their client had ever used a work phone to contact "escort/prostitution services".
One number belonged to a personal friend of Mr O'Donnell, while others "concerned persons who played on a soccer team that our client managed/coached who were not prostitutes/escorts to the best of his knowledge", lawyer Julian Gillard wrote.
In a separate email between Mr O'Donnell and CWU boss Greg Rayner, Mr O'Donnell appears to smear Mr Rayner.
"Although I pass no moral judgment on you I think it would be wise to consider this information becoming public should you continue on this disgraceful quest of yours," he writes.
A senior union official, who did not want to be named, said Mr O'Donnell's explanations were difficult to believe.
"Must be some soccer team," the official said.