MELBOURNE Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has vowed to clear his name as he announced he was standing down for a month while allegations of sexual harassment and indecent assault against him are investigated.
City of Melbourne chief executive Ben Rimmer said he was made aware of the allegations on Friday night and has ordered an external investigation to be headed by Ian Freckleton QC.
“On Friday evening I was made aware of serious allegations – including sexual harassment, indecent assault and misconduct — against the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle AC,” Mr Rimmer said in a statement.
“I have today informed the Lord Mayor that these allegations have been made.”
Mr Doyle said he was shocked by the allegations and frustrated he had not been officially informed of the specific details before being contacted by the media.
“(I) find the allegations detailed to me by media outlets thoroughly abhorrent, not only as Lord Mayor but as a father of young women, a husband, a brother and as the head of an office made up entirely of women,” he said.
“This is an incredibly distressing time for me and my family.”
He said his decision to take leave “must not be interpreted as any concession or admission.” “I welcome the investigation and will co-operate fully to clear my name.”
Mr Rimmer said it was very important that these matters were thoroughly investigated.