Troy Bell, 43, came before the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court today charged with 20 counts of theft and six of dishonestly dealing with documents between 2009 and 2013, before he was a member of Parliament.
Prosecutors asked for a 14-week adjournment because of the large volume of material to be processed, with Bell ordered to appear again in December.
Bell has strongly denied the allegations, which date back more than eight years to when he was working in the education sector.
He said they had left him “sick to my stomach” and in a state of “disbelief and shock”.
The MP also vowed to continue to sit in state parliament as an independent and hasn’t ruled out running at the next state election in March.
Bell’s bail conditions include that he not leave SA without permission and that he continue to reside at his Mt Gambier address.
Details of the charges against former Liberal MP Troy Bell https://t.co/ocNv9o6V4v @abcnewsAdelaide
— Nick Harmsen (@nickharmsen) August 22, 2017
Mt Gambier MP Troy Bell leaves court saying he’ll “strenuously” defend allegations he stole taxpayers money pic.twitter.com/j1VlAi7FiW
— Candice Prosser (@CandiceProsser) August 22, 2017
Documents presented to the Magistrates Court show 20 of the charges relate to depriving the South East Education and Training Association and the Limestone Coast Education and Training Association of funds.
Six of the charges relate to using a document “knowing it to be false” to deceive the Millicent High School.
Bell was charged after an investigation by the state’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.
He resigned from the Liberal Party last week.
– InDaily with AAP
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