Sargent steps down

STIRLING councillor Keith Sargent has stepped down after being charged with possessing child exploitation material.

Police seized electronic devices during a search of his Mirrabooka house on September 1 and after a preliminary examination of two devices police alleged “material consistent with child exploitation material was located”.

Mr Sargent fronted Perth Magistrates Court the day of his arrest and was granted bail ahead of a September 29 court appearance.

The arrest came during a joint operation involving WA Police, federal police and border force that saw 45 people in WA charged, including a City of Stirling employee who has since resigned. 

Stirling mayor Mark Irwin fronted the media on Friday September 2 and said he’d called on Mr Sargent to resign, and by Saturday Mr Sargent had stood down. 

“We have initiated the process to hold a by-election for the Balga Ward before the end of the year,” he said.

The council would not reveal whether the charged employee came into contact with children at work.

by DAVID BELL

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