An independent probe into the actions of against ex-Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has upheld four allegations against, including pertaining to the former Mayor indecently grabbing female councillors.
The independent report was tabled before the Melbourne City Council on Tuesday afternoon, upholding allegations against Doyle made by former City of Melbourne councillors Tessa Sullivan and Cathy Oke.
The report ruled against Doyle on four counts.
The first of which determined that Doyle deliberately grabbed the breast of Councillor Sullivan after exiting a vehicle, leading Sullivan to slap his hand away.
The second found that Doyle had, while at a restaurant meeting in 2014, repeatedly placed his hand on the thigh, below the groin area, of Councillor Oke, and had subsequently moved his hand in a sexually inappropriate manner.
The third found that Doyle had, on another occasion, attempted to kiss Councillor Oke on the mouth, causing her to push him away and leave his office.
The fourth and final ruling found that Doyle had, on all the above occasions, consumed “substantial” amounts of red wine.
A number of additional accusations against Doyle did not meet the standard of proof required by investigators, however it was stressed in the report that this does not mean those incidents did not occur.
Allegations stemming from a third complainant are set to be addressed in a subsequent future report, which is expected to be compiled once Doyle is deemed well enough to answer questioning.
The former Lord Mayor of Melbourne resigned from his position on February 4th in the wake of the scandal, and was admitted to hospital suffering stress-related complaints shortly thereafter.
He remains in hospital for the time being, but is expected to issue comment via his lawyers this afternoon.
Doyle’s wife, Emma Paige-Campbell, commented on today’s findings on behalf of her husband, stating that “Robert informed the investigation that he now recognises that his cheerful and oftentimes animated personality and manner towards people, both men and women alike, may no longer be appropriate by today’s standards. He is sorry for any misunderstanding.”
Meanwhile Melbourne City Council CEO Ben Rimmer asserted that he now believes Doyle was responsible for creating an unsafe working environment for the two female councillors, and that Doyle’s behaviour – coupled with today’s findings – could well constitute sexual harassment.
Robert Doyle himself is yet to comment directly on today’s findings.