Warrego MP Ann Leahy. Photo Contributed
Warrego MP Ann Leahy. Photo Contributed Contributed

Warrego MP Ann Leahy found in contempt of parliament

WARREGO MP Ann Leahy has been found in contempt of parliament after a committee found she distributed confidential Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee material and then deliberately misled two committees who investigated the disclosure.

Her actions have been considered so serious the committee has recommended a punishment that has not been used this century.

On July 12, 2015 Ms Leahy emailed the PCCC members and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk about having found confidential committee documents left in her new office by Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.

The PCCC investigated how Ms Palaszczuk received the information and discovered when Ms Leahy found the documents she sought advice from Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg's chief of staff Jake Smith. 

As neither Ms Palaszczuk nor Mr Smith is a PCCC member, the Ethics Committee found Ms Leahy had disclosed confidential PCCC documents.

But Ms Leahy did not disclose Mr Smith's involvement to either the PCCC or Ethics Committee investigations into the leak.

The committee said Ms Leahy's disclosure to Ms Palaszczuk and Mr Smith on their own would not have received significant penalties. But Ms Leahy misleading the committees by omission were serious offences.

"The committee finds the combined effect of the Member for Warrego's conduct reflects a lack of regard for the rules of the PCCC and lack of respect for the role the Ethics Committee performs," the Ethics Committee report said.

"The committee found that the Member for Warrego's conduct did not meet the standards required of a member as set out in the Code of Ethical Standards in that she did not conduct herself in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament."

The report recommended Ms Leahy stands in her seat in parliament and be admonished by Speaker Peter Wellington - the first time that has happened since 1999.