Queensland’s former chief scientist could be jailed for defrauding the government of about A$75,000.
Suzanne Miller pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday over fraud committed while she was employed by the Queensland Museum between February 2014 and July 2017.
The Scottish-born professor was first charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission in 2017 with fraud valued about A$45,000.
It related to a fraudulent claim for private health insurance.
Later that year she was charged over the alleged misuse of a state government-funded credit card to buy herself items costing more than A$30,000.
The items include a polaroid camera, pink LED lights, a drone, a Gold Smart scooter and a high-pressure cleaner, according to court documents.
Miller’s guilty plea was to a single charge of fraud, after dozens of allegations were rolled into one.
The court heard the prosecution would call for a sentence of not more than three years in jail.
Miller was appointed chief scientist in December 2016 and was the first woman to have held the post. She drew a salary of more than A$400,000 a year from her dual roles as chief scientist and chief executive of Queensland Museum.
Announcing her appointment as chief scientist in 2016, Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said Miller had a long and distinguished career as a scientist in both the United Kingdom and Australia.
A Queensland government spokeswoman said Miller has not been a state government employee since December.
She will be sentenced on May 1.
By Cheryl Goodenough