MLC Bernard Finnigan quits politics in wake of child pornography guilty verdict

MLC Bernard Finnigan has quit politics, effective immediately, after being found guilty of a child pornography charge.

Finnigan issued a public statement through his lawyers saying he had given “careful consideration to the views expressed by my colleagues, family and friends”.

“In addition, I am conscious of the need to protect the integrity of the judicial process, which has not yet concluded, and the dignity of the Parliament,” Mr Finnigan said.

Finnigan has been under pressure from South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to quit politics after being found guilty this week by the District Court of obtaining access to child pornography.

His lawyers had argued he could not be removed from the Legislative Council until he was convicted and sentenced.

“It is not my wish to promote further political uncertainty or to provoke some form of constitutional dispute over the power of the Legislative Council to expel a member,” Mr Finnigan said.

“In the circumstances, I have determined that the most appropriate course is to resign from the Legislative Council, with immediate effect.”

Finnigan said he tendered his resignation with the Legislative Council president Russell Wortley this afternoon.