Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s illness is understood to be stress-related .Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle “is suffering serious ill health” as he defends sexual harassment allegations.
Mr Doyle’s illness was understood to be stress-related and this was expected to slow the finalisation of an investigation and report into the allegations, the City of Melbourne said.
“We recognise that the investigative process has been extremely stressful for all parties and their families, despite the best efforts of the City of Melbourne and the independent investigation,” council chief executive Ben Rimmer said in a statement on Friday.
Mr Doyle stepped aside as mayor in December when fellow councillor Tessa Sullivan resigned after claiming he sexually harassed her.
Top lawyer Ian Freckleton QC was hired to investigate the allegations and his interim report had been imminent.
Mr Doyle strongly denied the allegations but would not return to work until the investigation is complete.
A second woman in January accused Mr Doyle of touching her leg under a table and making offensive remarks at a Melbourne Health awards ceremony in June 2016.
This led Health Minister Jill Hennessy to order a separate probe and Mr Doyle took leave of his role as Melbourne Health chairman.
Melbourne councillors were due to discuss the Freckleton investigation at a committee meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Rimmer took aim at the media for “inflammatory, damaging or speculative information or commentary” over the allegations.
“This process will take as long as it needs to, consistent with the overarching principles of natural justice and procedural fairness for complainants and the lord mayor,” he said.
There had been no timeline provided for the final Freckleton report.