SA Liberal quits over theft charges


A South Australian Liberal MP has quit the party after being charged with 26 theft and dishonesty offences.

Troy Bell, 43, resigned from the party on Thursday night ahead of a scheduled court appearance in Mt Gambier next week, the Adelaide Advertiser reported.

He has been the Liberal MP for the southeast seat of Mt Gambier since the last state election in 2014.

In a statement released earlier this week, South Australia's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander said a 43-year-old Mt Gambier man had been charged after an investigation by his office.

He was charged with 20 counts of theft and six of dishonestly dealing with documents, between July 2009 and March 2013.

"It will be alleged that the man dishonestly dealt with a substantial amount of public money," Mr Lander said.

"It will be further alleged that the public officer used documents known to be false, with the intention of claiming a benefit for himself."

The man has been summonsed to appear in the Mt Gambier Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

In a statement provided to some media outlets, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said Mr Bell advised him earlier this week of the allegations relating to an organisation he managed prior to entering the parliament.

"Given these charges, it was my view that Troy could no longer continue as a Liberal Party MP or as the Liberal candidate for the upcoming state election," the statement said.

However, Mr Bell's future in the parliament remained unclear with some reports suggesting he would continue to sit in the house and would deny the allegations.