'TUMULTOUS TIME' AT SEVEN WEST

'TUMULTOUS TIME' AT SEVEN WEST
SEVEN West Media's CEO has been cleared of misconduct allegations, the day after a non-executive director has resigned.

Tim Worner (pictured) will continue in his role after the company board concluded that claims about an affair could not be substantiated. Meanwhile, Sheila McGregor, a non-executive director, has left the board after only eight months.

Allegations that surfaced in December revolved around an affair Worner had with former employee Amber Harrison, which ended in July 2014.

An independent review looked into drug use allegations and Harrison receiving a bonus, questions around her and Worner's corporate credit card expenses and personal relationship, and claims of other inappropriate relationships between Worner and other staff members.

The review was conducted by Allens Linklaters litigation and investigations partner Richard Harris, based in Sydney.

It found that credit card misuse wasn't instigated by, or on behalf of, Worner, and he played no role in the awarding of a bonus, besides signing the letters. It also decided there were no irregularities in Worner's credit card use or grounds for drug charges. 

The four other employees who become tangled in the saga all maintained strong and vehement denial of inappropriate relationships throughout the investigation.

Perth-based Seven West Media says it's been "tumultuous time for the entire company" and admits what transpired was "totally objectionable".

"The board is aware that there were a number of communications that passed between Mr Worner and Ms Harrison that were of a highly personal nature that used language and expressed concepts that the board finds totally objectionable," Seven West says in its statement.

"However, the board is of the view that the communications were consensual, personal and private in nature and were only disclosed as a result of a breach of express confidentiality obligations."

After an immediate drop following the news in December, Seven West Media's (ASX:SWM) shares are now trading higher than pre-investigation.

At midday the company was trading steady at around 82c per share.

Business News Australia

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