Head of Qld corruption watchdog resigns

Marty Silk |

Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission chief executive Alan MacSporran has resigned, saying his relationship with the watchdog’s parliamentary oversight committee has “broken down irretrievably”.

His decision to quit comes with cabinet considering a response to a scathing parliamentary crime and corruption committee report released in December, which called for a royal commission into the watchdog after its controversial probe into Logan Council.

Mr MacSporran initially decided to dig in despite the PCCC report saying he had failed to ensure the watchdog acted “independently and impartially”.

However, he unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that he had tendered his resignation with Attorney-General Shannon Fentimen.

“Many people have urged me to continue in this important role, despite the recent finding contained in the report of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee,” Mr MacSporran said in a statement.

“However, I find myself in a position where, despite a career spanning in excess of 40 years, where my honesty and integrity have never been questioned, it is clear to me that the relationship between myself and the PCCC has broken down irretrievably. This saddens me deeply.”

A bipartisan committee has found that the commission didn’t act “independently and impartially” in laying fraud charges against the former Logan mayor and seven councillors in 2019.

Its inquiry was launched in April after prosecutors dropped the charges due to a lack of evidence.

PCCC chair Jon Krause says the findings were “extremely serious”.

“Queensland needs an effective, independent, impartial watchdog on public sector corruption and major crime,” he told parliament at the time.

“The CCC has failed in the role entrusted to it by this parliament, on behalf of all Queenslanders.”

Mr Krause said the watchdog’s power to both investigate and charge people had led to bias.

The committee recommended the government order a royal commission into the commission.

“A commission of inquiry or similar, to be headed by senior counsel of sufficient standing to consider this structural basis of the CCC,” the report said.