An independent investigation has cleared Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham of any wrongdoing after a complaint was lodged in May 2018 alleging inappropriate behaviour dating back to August 2011.
While saying he was ‘glad the day has finally arrived’, Mr Buckingham launched a broadside against the complainant, former Greens staffer Ella Buckland, and the ABC which he said aired her views without giving him the opportunity to rebut them.
The recommendation by the independent investigator at Workdynamic recommends, ‘The Greens NSW resolve this matter with no adverse finding against you with respect to sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour towards Ms Buckland.’
The investigation interviewed female witnesses who corroborated Mr Buckingham’s version of events.
Ms Buckland made her allegations public on the ABC’s 7:30 program before the confidential investigation had been finalised.
Jeremy Buckingham said it had been ‘incredibly difficult and damaging to have these false allegations made public and used by certain people to try to destroy me’.
‘Having false allegations aired on national television is incredibly distressing and a very serious breach of investigation process. Allegations of this nature should be handled confidentially and sensitively and not be used for a trial by media.
‘The politicisation and breach of confidentiality of these processes makes it less likely that people with genuine complaints will come forward.
‘If you abuse a complaints process then people lose faith in it,’ he said.
‘The people who politicise complaints for political gain should be ashamed. They trade important principles of justice for base political manoeuvring and for personal political advantage.
Mr Buckingham said he had lodged ‘a comprehensive complaint against the ABC 7:30 program alleging extreme bias and multiple, serious breaches of the ABC Code of Practice and MEAA Code of Ethics’.
‘The ABC failed to report my version of events or the evidence of other witnesses. They also failed to wait for the outcome of this investigation.
‘I am pursing a number of civil actions to seek justice and restore my reputation.
‘I’d like to thank everyone who did not judge me based on very biased and defamatory media reports, and those who have supported me during this very difficult time,’ he said.