EXCLUSIVE: ‘Bloodied attack’ on NT Senator
ALLEGATIONS of a physical altercation between Senator Sam McMahon and her taxpayer-funded chief-of-staff Jason Riley are at the centre of a CLP investigation into claims of serious misconduct within the Senator's office.
A day after Senator McMahon denied any altercation had taken place, the NT News was shown WhatsApp messages sent from her phone alleging an incident had occurred.
A message sent from the Senator's phone number to a staff member at 2.12am on April 4 shows a picture of a set of legs splattered with blood in which the Senator claimed Riley had attacked her.
Mr Riley did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.
No charges have been laid.
The NT News has chosen not to publish the exact wording contained in the messages.
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Last night, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack told the NT News: "Violence of any kind is not tolerated."
"As you are aware, the CLP is investigating this matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further," he said.
In a statement, a spokesman for Senator McMahon said last night: "These allegations are a personal matter and they are being addressed privately. The Senator requests the media respects her privacy."
The spokesman did not respond to further questions why Senator McMahon had flatly denied an altercation had taken place a day earlier, yet had now claimed something did, in fact, take place.
Questions about whether Mr Riley, a former CLP director, remained employed, and how this was a personal issue when it was a staffer allegedly becoming physical with a Senator, also went unanswered.
The CLP has been investigating claims of misconduct since learning of the serious nature of the allegations at the weekend.
But there are concerns about what action the CLP can take even if the claims are substantiated.
Staff who work for Federal politicians are not employed by the party.
The Department of Finance was last week handed a formal complaint detailing allegations of misconduct within the Senator's office.
The same complaint was handed to the CLP, prompting its investigation.
Further information was provided on Sunday after the CLP began its probe.
"Our biggest concern at the moment is the welfare of the Senator and other people who have been affected by this," a CLP source said.
Originally published as EXCLUSIVE: 'Bloodied attack' on Territory CLP Senator Sam McMahon