Transport Malta has set special working conditions for Deborah Camilleri, the wife of Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri, allowing the lawyer to continue with her private legal practice while on a full time salary at the government agency.
Deborah Camilleri, formerly Mercieca, was last year recruited through a public call as Gozo Manager for Transport Malta. She replaced her husband, an architect, who had to leave the post when he was made Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and who is now Gozo Minister.
Based at the agency’s offices at Tigrija Palazz complex, at the centre of Victoria, Camilleri is supposed to be working office hours, like the rest of her colleagues (whom she manages).
Yet Camilleri is seen defending her clients on a daily basis at the Gozo Courts – situated a stone’s throw away from her Transport Malta desk.
In addition, the Gozo Minister’s wife was also appointed by Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis to serve as one of three Gozitan lawyers to provide legal assistance offered by the State to those facing court charges and cannot afford to hire a private lawyer.
The other two legal aid lawyers selected by the Justice Minister are Kevin Mompalao, currently also serving as a policy consultant to Gozitan Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo, and Joseph Grech, a former Gozo Channel chairman and currently also appointed by the government as the chairman of the Ornis Committee under the remit of Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri.
Transport Malta sources told The Shift that while the Gozo Minister’s wife is considered “the Transport Malta boss in Gozo, she is rarely at the office” because of the load of her private work.
“You can just imagine the example being given to her subordinates,” an employee told The Shift.
A spokesperson for the Transport Ministry confirmed the Minister’s wife has been given special conditions to perform her duties. Although she is paid a top salary for the role, she was given permission to continue with her private legal practice “as long as this is not in conflict with her position at the Authority”.
“Dr Camilleri works a minimum of 40 hours per week which can be spread over the whole week,” he said.
Unlike other Transport Malta managers, Camilleri is permitted to prioritise her private practice, performing her duties over seven days a week, rather than the five days when the office is actually open to deal with requests from the public.