I normally only like to use an excerpt but this scandal is so important I have copied the whole article below.
HOW THE WILSON AFFAIR HAS UNFOLDED
1987: Julia Gillard is employed by Slater & Gordon, a Melbourne-based law firm, as a solicitor and is subsequently promoted in 1990 to the role of salaried partner of the firm.
LATE 1991: Gillard, who has political ambitions, starts a romantic relationship with Bruce Wilson, a leading figure in the Australian Workers Union and a favourite of AWU heavyweight Bill Ludwig.
LATE 1991-AUGUST 1995: Gillard performs much of the legal work for Wilson and the AWU's branches in Western Australia and Victoria, which were controlled by Wilson and his union bagman, AWU official Ralph Blewitt.
EARLY-TO-MID 1992: Gillard does the legal work for Wilson and Blewitt to establish the AWU Workplace Reform Association, an entity registered in WA and subject to legislation. The association was supposed to promote training and safety on construction sites. The association's rules, which were drafted by Gillard, do not permit union officials to benefit personally.
1992-95: Wilson and Blewitt persuade large companies including Thiess and Woodside, which have major building projects staffed by AWU members, to make payments to the AWU Workplace Reform Association to promote training and safety for AWU members.
1992-95: AWU national heads and other senior AWU figures are unaware that the association has been established or that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being raised from large companies.
EARLY 1993: Gillard's romantic and solicitor-client relationship with Wilson continues. Wilson moves to Melbourne to run the AWU in Victoria and organises the purchase for $230,000 of a house at 85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy, in the name of Blewitt, with Wilson having power of attorney.
EARLY 1993: Gillard attends the auction with Wilson of the house at 85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy.
MARCH 1993: The purchase of the house is settled. Cheques totalling about $70,000 and drawn from accounts directly related to the AWU Workplace Reform Association go into the purchase. Slater & Gordon's mortgage lending arm lends $150,000 to Blewitt to buy the house.
MARCH 1993-AUGUST 1995: Wilson lives in the house. Gillard visits regularly as Wilson's girlfriend. Blewitt visits occasionally from Perth, where he lives and runs the WA branch of the AWU.
AUGUST 1995: The AWU's joint national secretary, Ian Cambridge (now a Fair Work Australia commissioner), Queensland AWU head Bill Ludwig and others identify irregularities in the Victorian branch's financial accounts and start an internal investigation. Their investigations involve Robert McClelland, then a solicitor providing legal advice, and threats to call in police.
AUGUST 1995: Wilson and Blewitt are made redundant by their branch, against the wishes of Cambridge and Ludwig, who suspect the pair have committed fraud and unsuccessfully try to stop the payouts with Federal Court injunctions.
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1995: Gillard's law partners at Slater & Gordon become concerned that her client is accused of misappropriating significant sums of money. The partners start a secret internal investigation. Gillard ends her relationship with Wilson. The firm stops acting for Wilson and Blewitt.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1995: As part of the investigation, Gillard agrees to be questioned about her actions in a tape-recorded interview conducted by two other partners. A lengthy transcript of the interview is produced. The firm's partners are surprised and disappointed at the findings of their investigation and make a joint decision that Gillard must leave the firm.
OCTOBER 12, 1995: A Victorian government minister, Phil Gude, claims in state parliament that Gillard had been forced to leave Slater & Gordon, and that she was directly linked to the misappropriation of union funds, and that she had benefited from renovations to her own house, and that she had to pay money back to the AWU so that she and Wilson could "cover their tracks". Gillard, who was an ALP Senate candidate, tells The Australian at the time: "Whether or not Mr Wilson was a client of mine is irrelevant. Each and every allegation raised about me is absolutely untrue; there is not a shred of truth in any of it."
Gillard adds that she has "no intention of leaving" Slater & Gordon.
OCTOBER 1995: Gillard abruptly leaves Slater & Gordon.
JANUARY 23, 1996: Cambridge writes to Laurie Brereton, then federal Labor minister for industrial relations, and requests a judicial inquiry or royal commission into how the union and Wilson have misused funds.
Cambridge adds: "Quite frankly I am now certain that the Victorian affair goes a lot deeper than I had first suspected, and I am afraid that underlying the whole mess may be issues of serious corruption."
FEBRUARY 1996: The house at 85 Kerr Street, Fitzroy, is sold. The proceeds after the mortgage is repaid go to Wilson and Blewitt.
APRIL 1996: The AWU hierarchy and Cambridge discover for the first time the existence of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, set up by Gillard four years earlier and controlled by Wilson and Blewitt. Cambridge traces dozens of cheques for hundreds of thousands of dollars that have gone through the association's accounts without the union's knowledge.
MID-TO-LATE 1996: Police start fraud squad investigations in Western Australia and Victoria. Cambridge, Ludwig and the AWU want police to bring criminal charges and recover the funds.
MID 1996: Gillard, having been unsuccessful in her Senate bid, becomes chief of staff to Victoria's then opposition leader, John Brumby.
FEBRUARY 2001: Liberal frontbencher Geoff Leigh accuses Gillard in Victorian parliament of having wrongly received $57,000 of AWU funds. Gillard rejects the claims, describing them as "malicious and unfounded abuse of parliamentary privilege".
NOVEMBER 2007: A fortnight before Labor's federal election win, Glenn Milne, a News Limited senior political reporter, interviews Gillard. In a story headlined "A conman broke my heart" and published in Sunday newspapers, the then deputy opposition leader described her relationship with Wilson and her role as his solicitor, and stated: "I was young and naive. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. I was obviously hurt when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing." Wilson, drummed out of the union in 1995 and near-penniless, maintains his silence.
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER last year: Fairfax Radio 2UE broadcaster Michael Smith, journalist Glenn Milne (then writing for The Australian) and Herald Sun commentator Andrew Bolt revisit the issue and republish allegations against Gillard, who responds in a fury to John Hartigan, the then chairman of News Limited Australia. The Australian newspaper publicly apologises to Gillard for an error made by Milne, who loses his role. Smith is banned from broadcasting an interview with a former union official with knowledge of the matters. Smith loses his job. Bolt considers resigning but stays on.
JUNE THIS YEAR: Former federal attorney-general Robert McClelland, who had been sacked by Gillard after his support for Kevin Rudd in his leadership bid, resurrects the 1995 union funds scandal by making a speech in federal parliament in which he speaks of Gillard's role then, and his own role as a lawyer for an opposing side. Gillard declines to comment.
JUNE: The Australian receives additional documentary information and resumes investigations. Harry Nowicki, a former personal injury lawyer writing a history of the AWU, discloses his findings after extensive travel and interviews with key parties.
THIS MONTH: The Australian interviews Blewitt who breaks his silence after 17 years. Blewitt admits there were "sham transactions" and seeks indemnity from prosecution for his role. Gillard declines to comment. Wayne Swan says it is "not a story".
THIS MONTH: The Australian discloses that newly released documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that fraud squad police and their legal adviser in Western Australia in 1996-97 regarded Wilson and Blewitt as crooks who should be prosecuted for criminal offences. Gillard declines to comment.
THIS MONTH: Slater & Gordon lawyers reveal to The Australian that the firm is conducting an internal review. The firm asks the AWU for permission to lift a legal lid on highly sensitive files on the union scandal. Gillard declines to comment. AWU head Paul Howes declines to comment.
TODAY: Nick Styant-Browne, a former equity partner at Slater & Gordon, breaks his silence and tells The Weekend Australian of serious concerns the firm held about Gillard's conduct in the Wilson and AWU matters, resulting in her leaving her job. Gillard again denies being involved in any wrongdoing.