Husar’s staff double down on bullying claims
EMMA Husar's former staff have broken their silence over bullying and harassment claims, going public with their accusations after the Labor MP reversed her decision to quit politics.
Fairfax Media reports four of Ms Husar's staff have written to NSW Labor's head office to complain about her behaviour after the Member for Lindsay announced last week she wanted to run for parliament again at the next election.
The letter was reportedly signed by longtime Labor staffer Lee Bellia, Blake Mooney, Labor Penrith city councillor Robin Cook and Celine Smullen, a veteran campaigner.
"Contrary to Ms Husar's public comments, we are not a few 'bad apples," they wrote to NSW Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain on Friday.
"We are competent, professional people who were subjected to Emma Husar's bullying, harassment, and unethical behaviour … it is our strong view that Ms Husar does not represent Labor values.
The Labor MP has emphatically denied all allegations by her former staffers.
"She has proven this through her actions as an employer, and the way she has manipulated this situation to present herself as the victim."
The group wrote: "Ms Husar's sustained inappropriate conduct made our positions untenable, and her recent public comments have made our continued silence equally untenable."
Ms Husar announced her decision to quit politics in August amid a political storm over bullying and harassment allegations.
She reneged last week, declaring she wanted to run again because an investigation into the claims against her found there was "no basis" for her to resign from the Australian parliament.
The investigation, ordered by NSW Labor and conducted by barrister John Whelan, had cleared her of allegations of "lewd conduct" and sexual harassment but backed former staffers' claims that her management style was "offensive and unreasonable".
It also backed complaints that Ms Husar had asked staff to perform "non-work related and personal duties" and recommended that allegations over the misuse of political entitlements be referred to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.
News Corp has contacted Ms Husar for comment.
She denied the most recent allegations through her lawyer yesterday.
Fairfax quotes her as saying: "I have acknowledged that I took on too much in advocating for my community, and that as a new member of parliament was inexperienced and was offered very little training and support, and have said many times I could have done better."
"This letter is the first time that these names have been made known to me, as there was only one named complainant in the information provided to me by Mr Whelan."
News Corp has contacted NSW Labor for comment.