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South Australian Tourism Minister adviser Cecilia Schutz sacked after drink driving charge

Government adviser allegedly boozed heavily at a work event before being arrested by cops at 4.30am

  • Cecilia Schutz, 35, was previously a senior adviser to a state tourism minister 
  • She is no longer in her policy role four months after police breath test
  • Police allege she had a blood alcohol reading of 0.086 per cent in July 2019 

Tourism policy adviser Cecilia Schutz (pictured) is no longer in her role after being charged with drink driving

A government adviser no longer works in a high-powered role after she was charged with drink driving at 4.30 in the morning.

Last year, Cecilia Alice Schutz travelled to China as South Australian Tourism Minister David Ridgway’s senior policy adviser on a six-figure salary.

Little more than a year after that April 2018 trip to Guangzhou, the 35-year-old ministerial staffer’s networking night out in Adelaide has threatened to ruin her career.

As of last week, she no longer had her high-powered job with a Liberal cabinet minister, following a 12-year professional association with Mr Ridgway in government and opposition.

‘The staff member’s term of employment concluded on 5th November,’ Mr Ridgway’s spokeswoman Kathryn McFarlane told Daily Mail Australia on Friday.

The powerful public servant Benjamin Tuffnell she was with on the night of July 17 resisted arrest as police demanded he undergo a breath test.

Ms Schutz’s night had begun at a restaurant in the Rundle Street mall in the heart of Adelaide.

Her company that night, Tourism SA’s former head of corporate affairs Mr Tuffnell, had consumed too many drinks.

The next morning at 4.30, Ms Schutz was pulled over on Flinders Street.

She was breath tested and allegedly returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.086 per cent, which led to her driver’s licence being confiscated for six months as her car was impounded for 28 days, South Australian Police said. 

Ms Schutz is due to be appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court on December 6.

Hours earlier, Mr Tuffnell had dropped Ms Schutz at her car just before midnight. 

A short time later, police found Mr Tuffnell, 46, in his car at nearby Gawler Place.

Benjamin Tuffnell (pictured) the powerful public servant she was with on the night of July 17 resisted arrest as police demanded he undergo a breath test

Benjamin Tuffnell (pictured) the powerful public servant she was with on the night of July 17 resisted arrest as police demanded he undergo a breath test

After resisting arrest, a breath test showed he had a blood alcohol reading of 0.097 per cent – almost double the 0.05 per cent limit which saw him lose his licence for six months.

At the time, he was the director of corporate affairs with Tourism SA. 

Previously, he had been the manager of corporate affairs at South Australia’s Motor Accident Commission.

South Australia’s Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal on Thursday fined Mr Tuffnell $900 and put him on a 12-month good behaviour bond, in a case which the ABC and The Advertiser covered. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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