Alleged physical altercation between NT Senator and staff under investigation

by | Jun 13, 2020 | News, NT Politics | 2 comments

EXCLUSIVE: The CLP is investigating allegations of ‘serious misconduct and physical altercations’ involving Senator Sam McMahon and staff members in her office, including chief of staff Jason Riley, the NT Independent can reveal.  

CLP president Ron Kelly said on Saturday that the party had “recently” become “aware of some internal staffing issues in the Senator’s office”.

“Today, the CLP received information alleging more serious misconduct and or physical altercations allegedly involving the Senator and her staff,” he told the NT Independent.

“The CLP does not condone violent or any other inappropriate domestic or workplace behaviours in any form.

“Due to the nature of the allegations, the CLP are conducting a thorough investigation into these allegations.”

The NT Independent understands one staffer is on “administrative leave” and another has had their working arrangements changed. It’s believed the allegations were made by at least one of those staffers.

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Mr Kelly said he was advised Senator McMahon had “initiated a process through the Department of Finance – Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, that manages the employment of federal members and senator’s staffing – which is the appropriate channel.”

He added the CLP was working through the staffing issues now.

“I give my absolute undertaking that we will do a thorough investigation to ensure we have a safe and harmonious workplace and good relations,” he said.

Last September, Senator McMahon announced she had split with her husband, real estate director Wayne Nayda, and was forced to go public to address the separation.

“There’s been some speculation in my personal life,” Senator McMahon said at the time.

“I am going through a marriage separation at the moment. It is a very difficult and stressful time for myself and my husband and I would just ask everyone to respect our privacy and work through these difficult matters.”

It’s understood Mr Nayda is not involved in the current allegations.

Her public comments followed a slanging match last year between Mr Nayda and Mr Riley.

The dispute between the two men played out over a CLP Facebook messenger group known as “CLP Buzz”.

Mr Nayda then posted a message – since deleted – on his Facebook page after assuming only he had been deleted from the group chat.

“To all my friends who are on CLP Buzz, Jason Toad Riley, Senator Sam McMahon’s chief of staff has removed (me) from CLP Buzz. Obviously did not like my comments about him if that is the caliber (sic) of the CLP guess I best talk to (Terry) Mills,” Mr Nayda said.

The incident followed a blow-up between Mr Riley and Mr Kelly that sources allege ended in Mr Riley calling Mr Kelly a “c***”.

Senator McMahon and Mr Riley were contacted for comment but declined to respond.

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