A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the 44-year-old had been charged with ‘enter agreement for child sex services’ and ‘produce and possess child pornography’. The charges related to alleged offences in 2019.
The Civic Group is a communications, research and lobbying company which Mr Puig was a director with former aspiring Liberal candidate and ex-Crosby Textor strategist Jason Aldworth.
Mr Puig stepped away from the company five months ago.
The company was awarded state government contracts worth as much as $1 million in 2015, after Mr Puig had worked as consultant to Labor in the lead-up to the 2014 state election. An influential backroom adviser to Mr Andrews’ office during that period, he also provided media training to Labor MPs.
The Civic Group declined to comment on Saturday.
In 2014, then Opposition Leader Mr Andrews had to deny that Mr Puig had excessive influence on Labor policy, after three staff raised concerns about the lobbyist.
After being charged by Footscray police, Mr Puig was bailed and due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 16 April.
Police are now preparing a report for the coroner.
The Civic Group gained notoriety in 2010 when it was exposed as the mastermind behind a tobacco company-funded group called the Alliance of Australian Retailers, which was established to front a public campaign against the Gillard government’s plain cigarette packaging laws.
In 2010, Mr Puig ran Treasurer Tim Pallas’ state election campaign.