Workplace gag falls flat

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The New South Wales government in Australia was forced to take disciplinary action against a senior legal officer at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who gave a colleague a novelty ‘boobs apron’.

The gift was an on-going joke between Nigel Hadgkiss, executive director of the DPP, and a work mate who had once described himself as a “big girl at heart”.

However, the novelty item was exchanged at a work party, and a guest took offence and complained to the department.

The gift from Hadgkiss became a topic in parliament after Shadow Attorney-General Paul Lynch accused Attorney-General Greg Smith of refusing to comment on the incident.

Lynch asked if any action had been taken against Hadgkiss in relation to his employment, and the Attorney-General confirmed the matter had been dealt with and was now finished.

“Yes. The complaint was dealt with in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and appropriate action has been taken,” Smith said in parliament on 17 October.

However, it still wasn’t over. Several days later the Attorney-General was asked to elaborate on the matter during an estimates hearing, and Smith confirmed that Hadgkiss was cautioned about his conduct.

“My understanding is that the director [Lloyd Babb, SC] counselled him,” Smith said.

The aprons are sold in novelty retailers and feature a large pair of fake breasts protruding above a lace apron.

The incident has been labelled by some as a storm in a D-cup.


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