NSW Labor General Secretary Jamie Clements has resigned after party heavyweights urged him for his resignation. Stefanie Jones, former Labor party candidate and staffer accused Mr. Clements of sexual assault in June, 2015.
Mr. Clements, a married man and a father of three, allegedly harassed and forcefully tried to kiss Stefanie Jones during a party function in a parliamentary office, as reported by The Daily Telegraph. The report also confirmed that Mr. Clements had signed formal undertaking without the confession of liability.
Mr. Clements, in his resignation statement, said, “ following discussions with both the NSW parliamentary leader and Federal parliamentary leader of the Labor Party, as well as, NSW Party President Mark Lennon, I have resigned my duties as General Secretary as of 5 pm today”. “While I have done nothing wrong, I have made this decision in the best interests of my party and my family,” he added.
He also said that the allegation was completely false and the matter was subject of scrupulous police investigation and “a separate investigation conducted on the balance of probabilities”. He emphasized that both the investigation results did not find any wrong doing on his part. Mr. Clement justified his resignation by saying that he resigned because he believed that his party should not get distracted from focusing on winning the 2016 Federal Elections. He also remarked that he had maintained dignified silence on the matter but others had used media to “pursue their agenda”.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen commented that Jamie Clement had done the right thing for Labor Party and they could focus on the coming election as the matter was resolved. He said, “I am not going to pretend this isn’t an awful situation for the NSW branch…but it’s been dealt with”.
Leader of Labor Party and Leader of Opposition Bill Shorten said that he had no tolerance for workplace harassment. “I have seen the reports again today. I have no tolerance for workplace harassment in any circumstances,” commented Mr. Shorten.
The Daily Telegraph confirmed that Jamie Clements initially tried to seek a payout of more than$1 million. However, finally settled for an amount between $180000 and $270,000.