MINISTER STOOD DOWN OVER EMAILS
Minister stands down over emails, ‘ suspicion of corruption’
STATE Government Minister Mark Bailey was last night stood aside amid revelations that his private email use – and deletion of the account – may amount to corrupt conduct.
The Crime and Corruption Commission last night revealed it found “a number” of public records among 30,000 emails retrieved from Mr Bailey’s Yahoo account after it was reactivated earlier this year.
It found there was a “reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct” and has directed State Archivist Mike Summerell to investigate further.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had asked Mr Bailey to stand aside pending the outcome of that probe.
In a statement, Mr Bailey said he stood by his integrity but was standing aside so as not to become a distraction for the Government.
“I stand by my integrity and look forward to the resolution of this investigation which I hope will be carried out as quickly as possible,” he said.
The State Government has lost ministers Jo- Ann Miller, Leanne Donaldson and Stirling Hinchliffe this term.
Environment Minister Steven Miles was last night floated as a contender to fill the Energy portfolio.
Mr Bailey deleted the email account after a Right to Information request was lodged by The Australian newspaper.
It followed revelations he had been lobbied via his private email account by the Electrical Trades Union.
Mr Bailey has denied knowledge of the RTI application before the account deletion.
“Based on a review of the emails and advice in the report, the CCC considers a number of emails are public records,” the CCC said in an email last night.
“The CCC did not identify any evidence to support allegations ( Mr) Bailey had used his personal email account to engage in negotiations with the ETU that would amount to corrupt conduct.
“However, the CCC considers there is sufficient evidence to raise se a reasonablere suspicion of corrupt conduct relating to the potential destruction of public records … as this may be an offence under the Public Records Act 2002.”
In a letter to Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, the CCC indicated it was not possible to know if all the emails were able to be retrieved when the account was reactivated.
“Noting the level of public interest, the CCC has determined to monitor the way the matter is investigated pursuant to sections 46( 2)( b) and 48( 1)(c)( i) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001,” the CCC stated.