Senior Victorian police tried to palm off informant lawyer Nicola Gobbo to Australia's criminal intelligence agency amid fears of "trouble" within their informers program.
In late 2006, officers including former drug squad boss Tony Biggin wanted to get rid of Ms Gobbo by moving the informer to what was then the Australian Crime Commission.
"My cunning plan at that point in time was to transition that person to another agency," Mr Biggin told Victoria's royal commission into the use of police informers on Wednesday.
"This was my plan, this wasn't the ACC's plan.
"Our kind offer was rejected."
Mr Biggin could not say why the commission knocked back the proposal to take responsibility for a barrister who informed on her own clients.
It came amid increasing police concern about the use of Ms Gobbo, now infamously known as Lawyer X, as an informer.
"The longer human sources are registered by Victoria Police, the more we seem to get ourselves into trouble with them," Mr Biggin told the commission.
"I was concerned about the threats (Ms Gobbo had received) and I was concerned about her."
But the bid to cut ties with Ms Gobbo came only months after Mr Biggin reviewed her use as a source and found the high-risk strategy was worth it.
"In the benefit of hindsight, I accept that the risks associated with Ms Gobbo's profession as a barrister were not at the front of my mind," he said in a statement to the commission about the April 2006 review.
"Were they in your mind at all?" Counsel assisting Andrew Woods asked the former officer.
"They were in my mind but not ... ringing bells," he replied.
Ms Gobbo provided information to police on-and-off between 1995 and 2010 but Mr Biggin said he was only told in October 2005 she was registered as a source.
"I recall thinking that this was unusual," he said in his statement.
"I was aware that Ms Gobbo was a barrister."
Mr Biggin told the commission he had assumed at the time Ms Gobbo's dual roles as a barrister and an informer were being managed by her handlers.
Even then, he said he didn't necessarily know who her clients were and, even then, thought she only dealt with their bail applications.
It came as the former officer revealed police were seen as having "unhealthy" relationships with informers during Melbourne's gangland wars.
"There was a feeling that Victoria Police ... had probably been recruited by informers rather than recruiting informers," he said of an early 2000s review into the use of human sources in general.
"So we were actually doing it the wrong way ... providing information back or in fact entering into unhealthy relationships with informers."
Ms Gobbo was deregistered as a source in 2009 but continued to unofficially provide police information until 2010.
The royal commission into the scandal will continue on Thursday.
© AAP 2019