Karen Paluzzano: Headless rabbits left on my doorstep

FORMER Penrith state MP Karyn Paluzzano has revealed decapitated rabbits were left on her doorstep during an investigation by the corruption watchdog into her misuse of parliamentary entitlements.

Paluzzano is in the Downing Centre Local Court today for submissions on the sentence she will receive for obtaining money by deception and giving a false statement to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

While she had no evidence of who was responsible for the dead rabbits being left on her door, Paluzzano said she also received anonymous letters attacking her family

In June, the former Labor member for Penrith pleaded guilty to signing 18 sitting-day relief forms for various staff members during periods in 2006 and 2007, which contained false information.

She also pleaded guilty to giving false and misleading evidence to the ICAC on April 16, 2010.

In the witness box, this morning, Paluzzano said she fell into a deep depression after the allegations were bought to the ICAC by a former staff member, Tim Horan.

She said Mr Horan had been placed under performance management because of his failure to turn up to work and time spent gambling online in the office.

While she had no evidence of who was responsible for the dead rabbits being left on her door, Paluzzano said she also received anonymous letters attacking her family about the time Mr Horan's performance was being managed.

Paluzzano, who was supported in court by her husband Robert, broke down when she said she was "extremely sorry" and "extremely regretful" for signing the forms.

"I was a public figure so I let down my community in a huge way," she said.

Since resigning from Parliament in 2010, she has returned to work as a teacher and has enrolled in a post-graduate degree in teaching English as a second language.

The court heard that, if she receives a jail sentence, she will no longer be allowed to teach.

The hearing continues.

_ The Sydney Morning Herald

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