Ebene News – AU – ‘I let my wife and family down’: Tasmanian Labor leader steers clear of sexual harassment allegations

Tasmanian Labor leader David O’Byrne to step down as party investigates allegations he sexually harassed an employee of a junior union more than ten years ago

Reading a statement outside Parliament, Mr. O’Byrne said he thought the texting and kissing a 22-year-old employee of Liquor, Hospitality and Divers were consensual, but “I now understand that was not the case”

“This case made me think deeply about the nature of consent, and I came to understand why the person concerned is saying our interactions were not consensual”

“I sincerely thank her for having the strength to bring this issue to light, and I also thank the other women who have stood up for and talked about their experiences to inform the current national conversation on consent”

“I admit that my behavior did not meet the standards I would expect of myself,” he said

The complainant, whom the CBA did not name, wrote in her complaint that working at the LHMU in 2007 and 2008 under M O’Byrne “had a negative and significant effect on my mental health”

The complaint, obtained by the CBA, was sent to senior members of the party’s national executive, including Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese

She claimed he sent her “sexually suggestive, vulgar and unwanted texts” and kissed her twice outside of work without her consent

The woman alleged that when she asked M O’Byrne to stop messaging her, she was called to a meeting and given a verbal warning about her performance

“I felt it had nothing to do with my performance and everything to do with not succumbing to David’s continued advances towards me, and my recent message telling him to stop with the messages sexually inappropriate, “she wrote

“During this meeting and until I resigned, David’s behavior and attitude towards me was very different

“He didn’t talk much to me, he was rude or short to me and treated me differently from others, but now in a negative and sometimes mean way rather than the favorable tone he had used before”

The woman’s complaint indicated that she then moved to a new job at the Health and Community Services Union

Her complaint refers to two former colleagues who she says witnessed Mr. O’Byrne, and three others she said had been made aware of her concerns between 2007 and 2010, including Clark’s Labor MP Ella Haddad and Clark’s Independent MP Kristie Johnston, both close to the complainant. >

Ms Johnston issued a statement this afternoon, saying she was aware of the allegations and “they need to be properly and thoroughly investigated”

“It is appropriate that M O’Byrne has stepped down from the presidency while these investigations are ongoing, “she said

One person – a colleague from HACSU – wrote a statement in support of the complainant

This person wrote that in early 2008 and immediately after starting HACSU, the complainant broke down in tears as he shared details of Mr. O’Byrne

The colleague said the complainant read “very inappropriate” texts and shared details of the two alleged kissing attempts

“I found [the complainant’s] disposition to be bubbly and energetic and I was able to interact with all of the staff,” the person’s voucher said.

“However, there have been occasions when I have observed that [the complainant] becomes anxious, nervous and at times distraught when Mr. O’Byrne was mentioned or was present in person to attend various places or events, as part of official union discussions, functions and conferences of business and / or union affiliation / left “

The woman’s complaint acknowledged that it had taken almost 15 years to come forward, but said she feared she would not be believed

The woman wrote that Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame had “emboldened me to finally get up”

“I am tired of carrying this weight and I am tired of the hypocrisy of David himself,” the complaint said

“He knows what he did to me, but he still comes across as a supporter and fighter for women’s rights”

It is understood that National Party Secretary Paul Erickson referred the complaint to Secretary of State Stuart Benson Status of investigation not known

“The ALP will not comment on any matter relating to our code of conduct and associated policies except to say that our policies are being followed,” said Mr. Erikson in a statement to the ABC

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David O’Byrne, Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian branch), Tasmania, TasTAFE

Ebene News – AU – “I gave up my wife and my family”: the Tasmanian Labor leader stands aside over sexual harassment allegations

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-30/labor-investigates-sexual-harassment-claims-against-david-obyrne/100253560