Under-fire MP Emma Husar has been exonerated of the most serious and salacious of the allegations against her, with a Labor-appointed assessor, John Whelan, finding that "allegations of lewd conduct in the office of a fellow member of Parliament [Labor frontbencher Jason Clare]" were not supported.
He has also cleared her of allegations of sexual harassment by a former staff member, saying that these, too, were not supported "on the balance of probabilities".
Mr Whelan advised senior officials of the New South Wales Labor Party on Friday morning that, based on his assessment, "there is no basis for Ms Husar to resign from the Australian Parliament".
Mr Whelan, who has been investigating 44 allegations of misconduct against Ms Husar lodged by former staff members, found that their complaints that Ms Husar had "subjected them to unreasonable management, including unreasonable communication, demands, practices and disciplinary methods" did have merit.
He said there were two contrasting perceptions that had emerged from his inquiry, which has been running for most of this year.
Ms Husar, he said, had believed she was working "appropriately to achieve higher standards of performance and loyalty, and does so under a heavy workload, intense personal stress and a desire to serve western Sydney".
However "male and female complainants perceive and allege they have found much of the member's management offensive and unreasonable. After considering all sides of the relevant issues the assessment has generally favoured the complainant's [sic] perception of events."
Ms Husar said on Wednesday night she had decided not to recontest her highly marginal outer western Sydney seat of Lindsay, citing a campaign by sub-factional forces in the Labor Party to force her out.
She has strenuously denied the bulk of the allegations against her, which included misuse of parliamentary entitlements with regard to Commonwealth car use, and putting her children's nanny on staff in her electorate office.
On Friday, Ms Husar said she welcomed being cleared of "the most malicious and damaging" allegations. But she added "Having only seen the summary findings, I don't believe any of these should have cost me my reputation, my job, or humiliated me or my children."
She said she had been subjected to "trial by media, gossip and innuendo". Had she been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations properly, prior to their leaking, she said, "I am confident that ... I would have been able to put this behind me and continue serving the people of Lindsay".
Mr Whelan said allegations of misuse of public entitlements should be referred to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) for audit, although he noted Ms Husar had already advised him of a self-referral.
He said there was no evidence she had misled the Parliament but that complaints that staff had performed "non-work related and personal duties for the member, even accounting for the particular nature of political offices, have merit".
Mr Whelan said these should be referred to the Department of Finance's Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Wing for advice.
Many of the complaints made by former staff members centred on alleged bullying and harassment, and being instructed to perform menial chores, including walking Ms Husar's dog and picking up the animal's excrement during their work time. Ms Husar has pointed out that the dog is a therapy dog for her autism-affected son.
The most sensational allegation contained in a confidential dossier Mr Whelan sent to Ms Husar in May was made by one staff member who alleged that he had seen Ms Husar sitting in the office of Mr Clare and spreading her legs "on three occasions, revealing you were not wearing any underwear".
Ms Husar and Mr Clare vehemently rejected these claims when the confidential Whelan dossier was leaked to BuzzFeed earlier this month, with Ms Husar saying the claim made her feel physically sick.
Mr Whelan said the leaking of the allegations against Ms Husar had been "reprehensible". He said the full assessment would not be released because of the need to protect the confidentiality of participants in the inquiry.