Hervey Bay magistrate denies links to former bikie
THE Hervey Bay Magistrate has disqualified himself from a case involving a former Rebels bikie due to "assumptions made by police" about associations between the pair.
The accusations were vehemently denied by Magistrate Graeme Tatnell and Pialba man Adam McCrea.
It is understood the accusations arose after Mr Tatnell's name was mentioned incidentally during a Crime and Corruption Commission operation.
The CCC has said there were no allegations made about Mr Tatnell.
McCrea, 50, appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday charged with assault and breaking and entering.
But before the matter was heard Magistrate Graeme Tatnell stepped down, saying assumptions were made by police about an association between the pair.
"The only time I have seen or spoken with him is in court and once at a doctor's office," he said.
The magistrate was clear he was stepping down from the case to avoid any innuendo in the community and to protect himself from criticism.
Mr Tatnell said he understood McCrea had been questioned by officers from the CCC.
Defence solicitor Bradley James said McCrae had been questioned by CCC officers and told them he had not had any contact with the magistrate.
A spokeswoman for the CCC confirmed the body had not investigated Mr Tatnell in relation to the matters raised in court and nor was he the focus of any other CCC investigation.
"However, no allegations were made against Mr Tatnell and the CCC has no concerns about Mr Tatnell's conduct or associations," she said.
"It would be inappropriate and unfair to draw any adverse conclusion from the fact that Mr Tatnell's name was mentioned during a CCC operation."
Mr Tatnell ordered the matter be transferred to the Maryborough Magistrates Court for mention on November 2.