Home Rides  Events Tech Links

Justice directorate defends meet between prison manager and ex-bikie boss


The justice directorate has defended a cafe meeting between a senior prison officer and the former president of an outlaw bikie gang.

A photograph obtained by Fairfax Media shows Jennifer West, an area manager at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, sitting at a cafe with former ACT Rebels President Martin Stefancic.

Former ACT Rebels president Martin Stefancic and senior corrective services officer Jenny West.

The directorate has investigated and cleared Ms West in relation to her alleged links to outlaw bikies, and said "no further action was required".

In the photo Ms West sits across from Mr Stefancic, with a cup of coffee and a half-eaten plate of scrambled eggs in front of her.

The photo is purported to have been taken in August 2016.


When shown the photograph, the justice directorate said it generally did not concern itself with "personal relationships", unless there was a potential conflict of interest.

The directorate also said Mr Stefancic had never been a "client" of ACT Corrective Services, presumably a reference to the former bikie boss never being jailed at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

"Employees are required to take all reasonable steps to avoid a conflict of interest and [to] declare or manage a conflict of interest that cannot reasonably be avoided," a spokesman for the directorate said.

Late last year Fairfax submitted a request to the justice directorate under the freedom of information act asking for any documents related to prison employees and their alleged involvement in criminal activity.

The documents released revealed that a letter had been sent to the ACT government in February 2017, detailing a number of allegations regarding a "senior correctional officer".

Referenced in the anonymous letter were two news articles, which separately named then-Rebels president Martin Stefancic and prison manager Jennifer West.

This letter sparked an internal investigation, which was completed in December 2017.

Details of the internal investigation were almost entirely redacted from the freedom of information release, although the directorate did provide a brief summary of the actions it had taken.

"This information has been referred to ACT Policing," the investigation summary read.

"ACT Policing have responded to indicate that there is no specific indication that there has been any criminal conduct."

In response to follow-up questions about investigations into Ms West, the justice directorate said the internal investigation had determined no further action was needed.

"The substance of the allegation had been investigated appropriately," a spokesman said.

"No further action was required."

Ms West referred questions from Fairfax Media to the ACT justice directorate.

A number of criminals with links to the Rebels gang have been locked-up inside the Alexander Maconochie Centre in recent years, including Fakatounaulupe Ngata, who was jailed for aggravated robbery, and Alex Bourne, who was jailed for grievous bodily harm.

Bourne has since patched over to the Comanchero motorcycle gang, while Ngata is understood to have been deported.

In 2016, prison officers confiscated a painting with Rebels gang insignia on it, after an inmate was found to be hiding it in his cell at the AMC.

The justice directorate said it kept a constant eye on potential conflicts of interest among prison employees.

"Conflicts of interest - perceived or actual - are continually assessed including consideration of the roles and duties of employees and appropriate action taken to manage the conflict," a spokesman said.

"Any conflict of interest - perceived or actual - which involves criminality will always be referred to ACT Policing."

Mr Stefancic made headlines in 2005 while he was the president of the ACT chapter of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang.

At the time the Rebels threatened to violently remove cloth patches worn by members of a visiting social motorcycle club.

When asked by a reporter whether Rebels had threatened Ulysses members with violence, Mr Stefancic said, "Whatever - that's what they say."

"Whatever it takes mate. If you want to play the game you want to be in shape to play it, don't you."