The top prosecutor who ran Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial described himself in his LinkedIn bio as a ‘truth teller’ – before quickly deleting it when getting asked a question about it.
Shane Drumgold was forced to step down as the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions last year after a Board of Inquiry – the territory equivalent of a royal commission – made a series of damning findings against him.
A judge found that he knowingly lied to the ACT’s Chief Justice during Mr Lehrmann’s trial in 2022, lost objectivity during the prosecution, and breached his duty by failing to disclose documents to the defence.
He resigned as DPP after the 600-page report was leaked to the media and he is now suing the Board of Inquiry over the findings.
That matter was heard in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday and will return to court in mid-February.
Mr Drumgold has since become an active LinkedIn user, describing himself as a ‘truth teller’ on the platform, until Thursday when Daily Mail Australia asked him about it.
He also used a single poop emoji to describe his past year.
Shane Drumgold (pictured) resigned from his role as Director of Public Prosecutions in September last year
Shane Drumgold is pictured, centre, at the ACT Women Lawyer Awards in 2022
On Thursday morning, his bio read: ‘Truth teller, retired lawyer, author’. Later that afternoon, it read: ‘Retired lawyer, author’.
He did not respond to questions so it is unclear whether the description was a relic from when he was a top prosecutor or a defiant stance against the inquiry findings.
Either way, Mr Drumgold’s activity on LinkedIn has ramped up significantly since he found himself with more down time after his resignation in September.
In December, he summarised his year by posting a poop emoji and hinted that he might try to repair his reputation in 2024.
‘Merry Christmas to all. My 2023 review is captured in one emoji,’ he wrote, alongside a poop emoji.
‘It is not the size of the dog in the fight, so stay posted for a big 2024.
‘In the mean time, be safe, eat, drink, soak up the love of those around you, but most importantly – be kind to everyone.’
Shane Drumgold described himself as a ‘truth teller’ on his LinkedIn profile. He then deleted it when approached by Daily Mail Australia
Shane Drumgold used a poop emoji on LinkedIn to describe 2023 (post pictured)
Shane Drumgold was an advocate for the indigenous Voice to Parliament and said he was ‘shattered’ when the referendum failed
Mr Drumgold, who has been an advocate for Indigenous rights and legal affairs, also shared commentary advocating for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
‘The referendum arguments can be broken into two mindsets – fear vs hope. Fear of potential consequences vs hope for potential consequences. I know where I sit,’ he wrote in September, weeks before the vote.
He also attacked the No campaign’s slogan, ‘if you don’t know, vote no’.
‘I think I should prepare is list of things we would not have today – if our guiding principle was ‘if you don’t know, say no’. It would range from cancer treatment to aeroplanes,’ he said.
Closer to the referendum in October, he wrote: ‘If you don’t know – find out.’
The referendum failed on October 14, but the ACT voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Voice.
‘Tonight I am shattered, but I will heal,’ he wrote when the result was revealed.
‘I know that history has etched certain names in stone, that will form infamous legacies for decades to come.’
‘I am very proud of the ACT. Thank you!
‘My hope is that activists will be awaken – to light a fire, to close the gap that has dominated this country for over two centuries.
‘Without darkness, we would not know light.’
Brittany Higgins (pictured with her fiancé David Sharaz) alleged she was raped by Bruce Lehrmann. He denies the allegations
Prior to that, the bulk of Mr Drumgold’s posts appeared to be in 2022 – in the year of Mr Lehrmann’s trial, when his reputation was still intact.
In one post, he celebrated the ACT Women Lawyer Awards and noted how ‘wonderful’ it was to see two lawyers from the DPP’s office walk away with a prize – including his own daughter, Tahlia Drumgold.
‘The DPP team had a wonderful night at the ACT Women Lawyer awards,’ he wrote.
‘It was wonderful to see two DPP lawyers recognised for their outstanding achievements, and we congratulate Katie McCann and Tahlia Drumgold on their respective awards.’
Mr Drumgold was on paid medical leave from May to September last year, after he spent five days being grilled in the witness box during the Board of Inquiry’s hearings.
While on leave, he reportedly continued to receive a weekly salary of $9,266.
Since formally stepping down, he launched legal action against the Board of Inquiry, and he has an ongoing dispute with a builder over his investment properties on the NSW south coast.
Daily Mail Australia understands he also had a side hustle lecturing law at the University of Canberra.
Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) has always denied raping Brittany Higgins in 2019
He is listed as an adjunct professor on the university’s website, and on his own LinkedIn page until he deleted it when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
A spokesperson for the university said he does not hold that title anymore.
An adjunct professor is an academic in higher education who does not work as a full-time lecturer.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Drumgold for comment. He edited his LinkedIn profile but did not respond to questions.
Mr Lehrmann was tried in the ACT Supreme Court in October 2022 after his former colleague Brittany Higgins alleged he raped her in Parliament House after a night out in 2019. He has always denied the allegations.
Lehrmann pleaded not guilty and the month-long trial went ahead, but it was vacated after a juror brought banned research material into the court.
Mr Drumgold then dropped the charge entirely in December due to concerns about Ms Higgins’ mental health.
One month before the charge was dropped, Mr Drumgold fired off an email to police calling for a Board of Inquiry because he believed Australian Federal Police had conspired not to charge Mr Lehrmann.
The Board of Inquiry went ahead in May last year before Queensland judge Walter Sofronoff.
Mr Drumgold was cross-examined for five days. The questioning was so brutal that he was excused from appearing on the final day and took medical leave from his role as DPP.
In the findings, Mr Sofronoff said he was ‘deeply disturbed’ by Mr Drumgold’s behaviour, likening him to Pontius Pilate – a Roman governor who gave in to demands to crucify Jesus.
The findings were leaked to The Australian newspaper and published before ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr released them.
Mr Drumgold’s case against the inquiry will not question the merit of Mr Sofronoff’s findings, but will scrutinise whether they were made lawfully.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the ACT Supreme Court heard Mr Sofronoff made 65 phone calls to journalists between February and July 2023, totalling almost ten hours, the court heard.
Fifty-five of those calls were to people from The Australian, but predominately to columnist Janet Albrechtsen. Those calls totalled more than seven hours.
During the actual public hearing, the court was told Mr Sofronoff made ten calls to The Australian, eight of them to Ms Albrechtsen.
The matter will return to court later this month.