Victorian parole board chief Bill Gillard has broken his silence about giving legal advice to the alleged head of Melbourne's mafia.
Mr Gillard submitted his resignation last week after The Age revealed his role in advising alleged crime figure Tony Madafferi, who was fighting a police ban from Crown casino. But Mr Gillard says he didn't actually know of Mr Madafferi's background when they first met as the meeting was set up by an acquaintance.
"I met him, but I had no idea that allegations had been made against him until about two months later," he told ABC television on Sunday night.
Mr Gillard had previously not responded to The Age's questions about his dealings with Mr Madafferi.
He told the ABC his meeting with Mr Madafferi lasted 20 minutes and he only provided the most basic of legal advice. He received fruit as thanks for his efforts, he said.
"I hope you're a good person because now, when I talk to anybody, I've got to find out."
Mr Gillard stepped down after intense pressure from the government. But he pointed out how he had previously extended his stay in the parole board role while the search continued for a replacement.
"I found the job very demanding, very tiring, but I didn't resign because it's important to have a head of the board," he said.
His resignation takes effect at the end of the week.
Thanks to Steve Lillebuen.
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