Report Clears Emma Husar Of Sexual Harassment Claims
The NSW Labor report found also found there was no basis for her to resign.
What you need to know
- A report from NSW Labor has cleared Emma Husar of sexual harassment and lewd behaviour allegations
- The report found that allegations the outgoing MP made unreasonable demands of her staff have merit
- Earlier this week the member for Lindsay said she would not recentest her seat at the next election.
Outgoing Labor MP Emma Husar has been cleared of sexual harassment allegations but a report did find she made unreasonable demands of her staff.
The federal western Sydney MP had already announced she would not recontest her seat of Lindsay at the next election, but a NSW Labor report released on Friday said she did not have to resign.
"Based on this assessment, there is no basis for Husar to resign from the Australian Parliament," lawyer John Whelan's report found.
But many of the allegations from 22 former electorate staff were backed up. "Complaints that staff were subjected to unreasonable management including, unreasonable communication, demands, practices and disciplinary methods have merit," the report said.
Following the release of the report Husar issued a statement labeling the allegations vexatious and unfounded and claimed they had caused "personal, emotional and professional damage."
'Having only seen the summary findings in the form of a media statement, I don’t believe any of these should have cost me my reputation, my job, or humiliated me and my children," Husar said.
"I have acknowledged the difficulties I faced in establishing a new office, despite requesting assistance. I have always been and remain willing to take guidance and help. I will take some time before returning to work to do this."
The report also called for an investigation into use of her parliamentary expenses, and another investigation into the way her staff were used to perform non-electorate work duties, such as walking her dog and minding her children.
Claims that Husar sexually harassed a staff member were not supported on the balance of probabilities, while a claim she exposed herself to another federal MP was also not supported.
The investigation into Husar's office has dragged on for months, but only became public within recent weeks, with the leak of some of the details of allegations against her.
"The release of a selection of matters subject to this assessment in the public domain was reprehensible," the report found.
"It had served to elevate tensions in an environment in which many have reported the stress this matter has placed on their mental health."
Husar announced on Wednesday she would step down from politics, hitting out at "faceless" people within the Labor party who leaked against her.
"As it stands, I have done what I could in the interests of the Labor party by announcing I would not recontest the seat of Lindsay," Husar reaffirmed on Friday.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said Husar had done the right thing by the party Emma when she quit.
"In terms of what she's done and what she hasn't done, she will get a chance to read the report and people will learn the lessons," he told reporters on Friday.
"Everyone needs to be treated with respect out of this process and there is little more I can add."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in on the report's findings and called on Shorten to reveal what he knew about the allegations and when he found out about them.
"If you accept what he says he was the last person in the Labor Party to know what was going on," Turnbull said on Friday.
"How can somebody who claims to have been a defender of workers’ rights not be aware of what was going on at a time when others in the Labor Party leadership group knew about it, at the time when the New South Wales Labor Party had got a barrister to conduct an inquiry. "