Queensland’s corruption watchdog has found no evidence that the Liberal National Party (LNP) bribed a sitting MP to surrender his seat.
It is the second time the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has dismissed allegations that Moggill MP Dr Bruce Flegg was offered an inducement to give up his seat in 2011 to make way for Campbell Newman.
The CMC says while the seat of Moggill was a topic of discussion among LNP members prior to the election, there is no evidence of bribery.
The finding is in line with that of a previous and similar CMC investigation in 2011.
A fresh investigation was sparked in June after the emergence of secret recordings that allegedly revealed LNP officials offered Mr Flegg a plum job to vacate his seat.
District Court Judge Gary Forno, QC, oversaw the re-opened investigation but last week advised that there was nothing to support allegations of bribery.
The CMC says it agrees.
“The CMC has considered the evidence gathered during the investigation and concurs with Mr Forno’s advice that there is no offence of electoral bribery,” it said in a statement on Monday.
The CMC’s ruling paves the way for the LNP to endorse Barry O’Sullivan’s elevation to the Senate.
Mr O’Sullivan was among the LNP officials being investigated by the CMC over claims that the party had offered Mr Flegg an inducement.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said Mr O’Sullivan would be endorsed once parliament returned.
“I welcome the Crime and Misconduct Commission’s decision and look forward to the Queensland Parliament endorsing Mr O’Sullivan’s nomination in the first sitting of next year,” he said.