Queensland’s former electoral commissioner has been charged with steroid possession, two months after he stood down over “serious allegations”.
Walter van der Merwe resigned as state electoral commissioner in February, two days after he was suspended pending a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.
The CCC on Wednesday issued the 56-year-old with a notice to appear in a Brisbane court next month, on one count of possessing a dangerous drug.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said she had suspended Mr van der Merwe “due to a number of serious allegations that went to inappropriate conduct in the workplace”.
“I will await a formal report from the CCC before finalising the investigation into the original allegations received,” Ms D’Ath said on Wednesday.
“The charge announced today is of a very serious nature, which must be dealt with through the court process.”
Ms D’Ath did not specify the nature of the allegations facing Mr van der Merwe when she stood him down under Section 25 of the Electoral Act in February, other than to confirm the allegations did not “suggest inappropriate interference in the outcome of elections”.
Assistant Commissioner Dermot Tiernan will continue as acting commissioner while a recruitment process to permanently fill the position continues.
The CCC and Electoral Commission declined to comment as the matter is before the courts.
Mr van der Merwe will appear at Holland Park Magistrates Court on May 1 on one count of possession of a dangerous drug.