A three year inquiry has found former Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle sexually harassed a woman at a 2016 function.
The government ordered the investigation following a complaint from the woman in 2018.
Robert Doyle sexually harassed woman
Charles Scerri QC led the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations.
The woman claimed Doyle touched her repeatedly on the upper thigh under a table at the 2016 Melbourne Health medical awards.
She also accused Doyle of making inappropriate remarks.
Doyle was chairman of the board of Melbourne Health at the time, and previously Lord Mayor of the city.
Witness ‘honest and sincere’
A summary of Scerri’s findings described the woman as “an honest and sincere witness” who also “had no reason to lie”.
“Indeed, the whole experience, including Mr Scerri’s investigation, has caused her enormous distress.
“Mr Scerri has found that the conduct described by the complainant did occur.”
The summary described Doyle’s conduct as “over-familiar, rude, obnoxious or sleazy”.
Scerri’s investigation also found Doyle engaged in “serious misconduct of a sexual nature”.
For example, touching the complainant’s inner thigh, close to her groin, and the complainant’s lower back.
“Mr Scerri also found that the relevant conduct was unwelcome and caused the complainant serious distress.”
Doyle denies allegations
Doyle has always denied the allegations, and has never responded to them.
He continues to claim ill health prevents him from responding to the claims.
As a result, Scerri finalised his report and delivered his findings to the Victorian government.
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Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Sexual Harassment Claims described Doyle’s conduct, in addition to his refusal to cooperate with the investigation, as “outrageous”.
“This saga has dragged on for years, and it smacks of someone who does not want to take responsibility for his actions,” he said.
“The days of politicians and other people in power sleazing onto other people are over.
“Mr Doyle and people like him should keep their hands, in addition to their inappropriate comments, to themselves.
“Otherwise they will face serious consequences as a result.”
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