A former West Australian government advisor has received a settlement of almost $300,000 after suing the premier and several of his staff members for defamation.
Steve Kaless, a former senior advisor to then-Treasurer Ben Wyatt, was acquitted last year of indecent assault.
The charges stemmed from an alleged incident at a ministerial Christmas party in December 2019.
Mr Kaless resigned but was found not guilty by a Perth magistrate.
He lodged a claim against the government in the WA Industrial Relations Commission over the circumstances of his departure.
He also pursued action in the Supreme Court for defamation and "tortious conspiracy" against Premier Mark McGowan and several of his staff members.
Attorney-General John Quigley on Tuesday told parliament Mr Kaless had received a settlement in the amount of $298,095.
"As a part of the settlement, neither the state nor Mr Kaless have admitted any wrongdoing," Mr Quigley said.
"The settlement achieves a full and final resolution of all current and any future proceedings initiated by Mr Kaless and all matters pertaining to the alleged incident and Mr Kaless's employment," the attorney-general told the Legislative Assembly.
"Ultimately I recommended to the state government that a full and final settlement of both proceedings take place."
Mr Quigley said the figure represented the back-pay of salary and entitlements Mr Kaless would have been owed at the time of his acquittal, had he been suspended without pay for the duration of his court proceedings.
It also covered Mr Kaless's costs and a "relatively small" commercial amount.
Australian Associated Press
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