Queensland corruption watchdog boss Alan MacSporran quit of his own accord, says Premier Palaszczuk
The recently-resigned boss of Queensland’s embattled corruption watchdog quit of his own accord – and was not forced out the door – despite facing intense criticism in a damning report last month.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday said the shock resignation of Alan MacSporran QC, the head of the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission, was a ‘serious’ choice made of his own volition, and one that would hopefully maintain the public’s confidence in the organisation.
“This is, you know, a serious matter. It’s a serious decision and it’s a decision that he has made that is up to him,” Ms Palaszczuk told media in Townsville.
“I think the public wants to have absolute confidence in the anti corruption watchdog in this state.”
Mr MacSporran resigned abruptly from the independent body on Tuesday evening, seven weeks after it was savaged in a report by the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee.
Among other things, the report accused Mr MacSporran of failing to ensure the CCC acted independently and impartially in its handling of an investigation into Logan City Council.
The CCC’s prosecution of eight Logan councillors failed spectacularly last year when fraud charges were discontinued.
The organisation was again left red-faced again last week when charges of misconduct against ex-Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland were dropped without him being committed for trial.
The December 2 report did not ask Mr MacSporran to resign, but PCCC chair and Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause did recommend a commission of inquiry into the CCC for its actions.
In stepping down, Mr MacSporran on Tuesday said he had never let “extraneous irrelevant considerations enter my thinking about a decision relating to the proper exercising of powers in proceedings as a Queen’s Counsel criminal barrister or as CCC Chairperson”.
“Many people have urged me to continue in this important role, despite the recent finding contained in the report of the parliamentary crime and corruption committee,” Mr MacSporran said in a statement.
“However, I find myself in a position where, despite a career spanning in excess of 40 years, where my honesty and integrity have never been questioned, it is clear to me that the relationship between myself and the PCCC has broken down irretrievably. This saddens me deeply.”
A search is currently underway for Mr MacSporran’s replacement.
Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday said government was still considering its response to the PCCC report.
“Cabinet will be carefully considering the report that was done by the parliamentary committee before Parliament goes back,” she said.
A response is due in March.
Mr MacSporran had been chair of the CCC since 2015.
His exit came a couple of days after the resignation of Queensland integrity commissioner Nicola Stepanov amid concerns the public services commission had interfered with her office.
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