Ministers only told Sabin was investigated in late November

The Herald report:

At least two Government ministers were told an unnamed MP was being investigated before last year’s election, but police did not tell Government ministers it was until November when a media outlet started asking about an investigation into the former MP.

The Herald has learned that before the election Police Minister Anne Tolley and another minister with a related portfolio were told police were looking into an MP.

However, officials did not reveal which MP it was. Current Police Minister Michael Woodhouse was not told it was Mr Sabin until after One News started asking about Mr Sabin on November 25. That was the same day the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, was told and the Prime Minister was told on December 1. …

It is understood police told ministers they withheld the name of the MP because inquiries were still at an early stage and there was concern about the impact on Mr Sabin’s career and reputation if it amounted to nothing. Ministers were eventually told his name under the “no surprises” policy because media had started asking about the case.

The conspiracy theorists will be disappointed.

It’s pretty simple. If the Prime Minister had known Sabin was under Police investigation in October when select committee chairs were decided, then there is no way you would have appointed him Chair of Law & Order. You’d have to be a moron to do so. Sabin was just one of many backbenchers who could have chaired it. There is no advantage to the Government in having him particularly as the chair, and a huge disadvantage in light of the Police investigation.

And the fact the Police were not sure if the investigation would amount to anything (and for legal reasons one can’t get into why that might have been the case), then it is not surprising that no action was taken until the Police were at a stage where they had decided there was substance to the complaint.

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