Justyne Caruana is back on the public payroll

Former minister Justyne Caruana is back on the public payroll as a legal officer after she was forced to resign from cabinet twice in one year.

Replying to questions from The Shift, Caruana confirmed that she was recruited as a legal officer at the Victims Support Agency, within the remit of the home affairs ministry.

She said she was recruited following a public call. Further research by The Shift to verify the call showed that the deadline for applications was a week after her second resignation as minister in December 2021. Caruana was still serving as an MP until last March.

The Shift is reliably informed that her package is around €40,000 a year.

She told The Shift she is replying to questions, “although I am now a private citizen”, saying she was recruited at the agency as a legal officer following a public call.

It is as yet unclear whether Caruana is permitted to continue her private practice while being employed full time at the agency. She is regularly seen defending clients in Gozo.

Last December, the former education minister was forced to resign after she was outed giving a contract to her boyfriend, footballer Daniel Bogdanovic.

She had only been appointed minister again by Prime Minister Robert Abela at the end of 2020, a few months after she had already been forced to resign when it was revealed that her husband, former Police Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta, was close to Yorgen Fenech and had gone on trips with him despite already being suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

While Caruana had denied any knowledge of this relationship, she resigned her post and left her husband.

Following her first resignation, Caruana was given a government termination benefit payment of €30,000.

Asked whether she was given another benefit following her second resignation, Caruana said that she had “renounced in writing any terminal benefits that I may have been entitled to in connection with my ministerial role.”

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