Robyn Malcolm backlash over support for Roger Sutton

Many ONE News readers have hit back at Robyn Malcolm today, over the defence of her brother-in-law, embattled Roger Sutton.

Critics are speaking out over the handling of the case, while others are backing Roger Sutton. Source: 1 NEWS

The former CERA boss quit earlier this week after a female employee accused him of sexual harassment.

He tried to downplay the allegations, saying he only used words like "sweetie" and "honey" while his wife, Jo Malcolm, called Mr Sutton "touchy-feely".

However more serious allegations emerged in reports yesterday.

Robyn Malcolm last night said she'd known Mr Sutton for 20 years and he was not a man who would ever "exploit" or "abuse" women.

Those remarks have prompted ONE News Readers to ask if Robyn Malcolm was trying to white-wash public opinion.

Heather Knox says: "It's a proud day for a woman to be able to use her rights to demand a safe, harassment-free workplace. I don't feel sorry for him at all. He behaved incredibly badly and this is the consequence of it."

Maryjayne Hika says Robyn Malcolm was dragging the matter out. "It was over n done n now your making the poor victim out to be a liar. Not good for your own image."

Cate Redell writes: "Let's not forget that Robyn Malcolm is Roger Sutton's sister-in-law. Maybe just a little bit biased. And just because someone is a 'nice' person doesn't mean they're not capable of doing wrong."

But Cherrille Harper described the whole thing as "a witch hunt". Roger Sutton had done the honourable thing and resigned, she said. "The complainant has probably achieved what she wanted, let that be the end of the matter!"

Trish Hern also says many women in the workforce need to gain a sense of humour, stop being precious and just get on with what they are paid to do..."Perhaps the people concerned with this case of harassment should visit women's refuge and see what real abuse is all about."

But Equal Employment Opportunities commissioner Jackie Blue doesn't agree, asking for answers over what she described as a poorly run inquiry that "minimised" the issue.

Principal advisor to the State Services Commission, Tim Ingleton, was also deeply disappointed by the breaches of confidentiality, which saw Mr Sutton discuss details of the case in public.

"My primary concern remains protecting the privacy of the complainant," Mr Ingleton said.