The Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Council was stopped by police allegedly in possession of a baseball bat and a balaclava and police are investigating whether he was tracking the vehicle of his immediate superior, the Clerk of the Legislative Council.
Nigel Lake, one of WA's most senior parliamentary staff, has been suspended from his $166,216-a-year job after he was arrested by police late on Tuesday, February 17, in Drabble Road, City Beach, allegedly wearing a black hoodie, latex gloves, black tracksuit pants and black shoes.
Mr Lake was on foot and arrested within a kilometre of the home of the Clerk of the Legislative Council, Nigel Pratt.
Police yesterday confirmed they had charged a 49-year-old North Fremantle man with possessing a controlled weapon, possessing a disguise intending to use it in connection with committing an offence and the use and installation of a tracking device.
Mr Lake is due to appear in the Perth Magistrate's Court on March 18.
The Legislative Council was in session on the evening of February 17 until about 9.45pm.
Legislative Council President Barry House yesterday wrote to all MPs and parliamentary staff to tell them he had suspended Mr Lake from work or attending Parliament House immediately after he learnt about the police investigation on February 18.
"This was to allow the police to complete their investigation," he wrote. "I consider any behaviour which results in criminal charges being laid against a parliamentary officer as very serious.
"The Legislative Council and the Parliament has fully co-operated with police.
"The Corruption and Crime Commission were notified on 18 February, 2015, given that this matter involves a public officer.
"We have made alternative arrangements to cover Mr Lake's workload to ensure the important work of the Legislative Council can continue without interruption.
"I am unable to comment or speculate any further on matters before the court."
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It is understood police have searched parliamentary computers as part of their investigation.
Mr Pratt was appointed to the $216,138-a-year position in November 2013. He had previously been the deputy clerk of the Tasmanian Parliament since 2007.
Mr Lake was deputy clerk of the Council under the previous clerk Malcolm Peacock and acted in his position when Mr Peacock suffered an illness in his final two years in the job.