Harassment Allegations

ICAC Commissioner Cleared of Improper Money Offer to Estranged Wife in Domestic Violence Case

Main image to the post ICAC Commissioner Cleared of Improper Money Offer to Estranged Wife in Domestic Violence Case

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) in the Northern Territory faced a tumultuous situation as allegations surfaced regarding Commissioner Michael Riches offering money to his estranged wife, Jennifer Riches, to suppress domestic violence allegations. Legal documents revealing the $20,000 agreement coinciding with the withdrawal of a domestic violence order prompted an investigation that ultimately cleared Mr. Riches of any improper conduct based on the findings of ICAC overseer Bruce McClintock SC.

Despite the intense public scrutiny and Chief Minister Eva Lawler's referral of the case to the ICAC inspector, no criminal acts or law violations were suggested by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Chief Minister Lawler shared a summary of the inspector's report, noting that while no corrupt conduct under the ICAC Act was found in the allegations against Mr. Riches, the inspector recommended he focus on his health and recovery, leading to his temporary replacement by Naomi Loudon as Acting ICAC. The report, containing sensitive information surrounding the Riches' allegations and legal documents protected by legal professional privilege, was deemed unfit for public release by Lawler based on privacy and confidentiality concerns raised by the ICAC Inspector.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09