NSW Resources Minister resigns over corruption claims
The NSW Resources Minister, Chris Hartcher, resigned his ministerial post yesterday after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) executed a search warrant over his office.
The raid comes comes after former Hartcher staff members were suspended over the handling and misappropriation of a $5000 donation made by a businessman to several Liberal party candidates.
In a statement Hartcher claimed he was innocent of any misconduct but was stepping down from his portfolio for the sake of the government.
“My resignation follows the issue of a search warrant by the Independent Commission Against Corruption against me,” Hartcher said.
“I am confident I will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“This is the first contact I have had with the ICAC and given that their investigations have thus far had an unknown timeframe, it is appropriate that I resign.”
Fair Trading Minister, Anthony Roberts, will act as Resources Minister while ICAC continues their investigations.
Premier Barry O’Farrell said he supported Hartcher’s decision.
“I accept and support Mr Hartcher’s decision to resign from Cabinet following today’s actions by ICAC,” O’Farrell said.
“Hartcher advised me he is confident he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“However Chris said that while the investigation is ongoing and in the interests of the Government, he feels it appropriate to resign from the ministry.”