Disgraced former Queensland police commissioner Terry Lewis dies

Disgraced former Queensland police commissioner Terry Lewis dies

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Terry Lewis, the notorious former Queensland Police commissioner who was jailed for corruption, has died aged 95.

The disgraced commissioner joined the police force in 1949, being dispatched to Charlieville, Queensland before his career unexpectedly took off. 

He became the head of the Juvenile Aid Bureau as a senior constable and eventually became police commissioner in 1976.

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Lewis served in the top job for 11 years and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II before his career was plagued by scandal and corruption.

A two-year inquiry into police and political corruption called the Fitzgerald Inquiry, starting in 1987, saw the end of Lewis’ career.

Judge Tony Fitzgerald found that Lewis was the mastermind of a “Rat Pack” of corrupt police officers, and exposed that he had collected over $600,000 in bribes.

The inquiry also found high-profile detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan were in on it.

“It is a colossal rise and fall story. A man from nothing to the absolute peak of his profession to a man sipping brandy in Government House in Brisbane,” Matt Condon, author of Three Crooked Kings told 9News.

Lewis was charged with 15 counts of corruption, as well as perjury and forgery, copping a 14-year sentence in 1989.

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He was stripped of his superannuation, home and his knighthood. 

After serving 10 and a half years in prison, he was released on parole in 2002.

Lewis maintained his innocence until the end.

“He will go down in history as one of the most notorious figures, certainly within the police force,” Condon said.

“On the other hand, he was a human being.”

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