A 2018 report found that former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle was “sleazy” and sexually inappropriate to a woman at an awards ceremony in 2016.
It vindicates previous claims by Kharla Williams the then-lord mayor touched her leg and made offensive remarks to her at the Melbourne Health awards ceremony.
The report released by the City of Melbourne on Monday found Mr Doyle spoke to Ms Williams in a “sleazy” and inappropriate way, put his hand on her lower back near her buttocks and repeatedly placed his hand on the upper part of the inside of her leg.
“There was no justification whatsoever for Mr Doyle’s behaviour (at the June 25 event),” the 2018 investigation by Ian Freckelton QC found.
“It was completely inappropriate and there was no contextual legitimacy for it.
It was opportunistic and occurred in circumstances of significant power imbalance.”
The investigation found Mr Doyle’s behaviour was “highly distressing and fundamentally inconsistent with the dignity of the office of the lord mayor”.
Mr Doyle quit the post and his role as chairman of Melbourne Health after the allegations came to light.
An independent report previously upheld four misconduct claims against him.
Dr Freckelton in 2018 concluded Mr Doyle grabbed City of Melbourne councillor Tessa Sullivan when the pair were in a chauffeur-driven mayoral car.
He also put his hand on councillor Cathy Oke’s thigh several times in 2014, and attempted to kiss her in his office following a meeting in late 2016 or early 2017.
All incidents happened after Mr Doyle had consumed “substantial amounts of red wine”.
He also harassed Ms Williams in the context of alcohol consumption.
The findings about the Melbourne Health incident were released, with Ms Williams’ consent, after police announced Mr Doyle would not face charges.
He did not participate in or respond to the City of Melbourne’s investigation but has consistently denied claims of sexual misconduct.
“He has had ample and fair opportunity to provide his account of events. Put another way, he has been extended full natural justice and procedural fairness,” the report said, adding its release was in the public interest.