by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Former Bomber and Saint Andrew Lovett has filed papers with the Australian Supreme Court over the lack of progress in his grievance hearing with the AFL. Lovett, who is facing criminal charges over an alleged r*pe of a woman on Christmas Eve last year, was sacked by St Kilda after being arrested and charged. After the club canceled his contract, Lovett decided to take his case to the AFL grievance tribunal with the support of the AFLPA in an effort to recoup some of the monies he lost due to his sacking. However, the Victorian police and the prosecutors office requested that the tribunal delay their hearing for fear that it might prejudice the legal case.
St Kilda did attempt a settlement with Lovett through mediation. It is believed the club offered Lovett a payout of $300,000. That settlement was refused by Lovett and his lawyers. After that, Lovett wanted a hearing with the AFL grievance tribunal, alleging that he was unfairly fired by the Saints. His lawyers have filed papers stating that the AFL hearing should go ahead. He is suing several members of the tribunal and St Kilda as well as filing a claim with Fair Work Australia. Fair Work Australia is set to hear the case next week, but should that fail to reach a resolution, the case could end up in Federal Court. Lovett's lawyers are hoping they can have the case heard in the Supreme Court within the month.
Lovett was originally drafted as a rookie by Essendon in 2004 and elevated to the senior list in 2005. Rated as a skilled and quick midfielder with good goal sense, he played 88 games with the Bombers. However, disciplinary problems in recent years forced the Bombers to trade him at the end of last year. St Kilda was happy to pick him up, hoping to add to their midfield depth. Shortly after arriving at the club, he was disciplined for missing several training sessions and then came the arrest and criminal charges in February. The club felt they had no choice in canceling Lovett's contract.
Article last changed on Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - 7:46 PM EDT