A former Education Department bureaucrat who cost taxpayers thousands in a payout for engaging in derogatory emails about a bullied teacher has been handed a consultancy contract that did not go through a competitive process.

Former Palmerston Regional School director Hylton Hayes was awarded the $19,000 contract two weeks before then-education minister Eva Lawler left the portfolio during a Cabinet reshuffle last month. Mr Hayes is a friend and campaign volunteer of Ms Lawler’s.

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