Sun Newspapers Ltd.
has voted to take no-confidence in its board, following allegations of sexual harassment against board members.
The board, which is made up of former newspaper owners and has not held an election since the last election in December 2016, voted unanimously to suspend the paper.
The Sun has not named any members of the board, but the paper’s general manager, Michael Rundle, said the decision was made by the board on Friday night.
“We feel no-call, and we believe the board of the Sun has acted with the utmost integrity and integrity,” Rundle said in a statement.
“The board has not sought to interfere in the outcome of this matter, and has acted in the best interests of the paper and its shareholders.”
In a statement, Rundle called the allegations against Sun Newspresses board members “completely and utterly false and defamatory.”
The newspaper said it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.
“These allegations are completely and utterly unsupported by the facts and evidence,” the statement said.
The paper said it has hired legal counsel to investigate the allegations.
The news comes just weeks after the Sun published an editorial in the Star detailing allegations against former Sun publisher Paul McNeil, who was the publisher of the newspaper for 22 years.
The Star said the newspaper is investigating whether McNeil sexually harassed a female reporter in 2015.
“In light of these events, the board believes it is in the public interest to take immediate action to suspend all Sun Newspress board positions until further notice,” the Star’s editorial said.
Rundle told the Star that the decision to suspend board positions was made “without the knowledge or consent of anyone.”
The board said it is not going to pursue any further action in the matter.
In a written statement to the Star, Ringle said he was not involved in the decision and said the board would make the decision based on the “current situation in the newspaper industry.”
“We are committed to being transparent and accountable to our shareholders and the public,” Ringle wrote.
Sun Newspolls parent company Sun Group SA said it had “no comment.”
Sun Group has not been named in a police investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by former publisher Paul W. McNeil.
The company has also not named the board member who has been accused.
Ringle did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
In an interview with the Star in December, Rourke said Sun Newspills board had “done its job” by providing transparency to the public about allegations against McNeil and to the board’s own internal investigation.
“I’m very disappointed with this decision, I’m not surprised,” Rourke told the paper, adding that he hoped to work with the board to find a way to get back on the right track.
Rourke also said he hoped the board could find a resolution to the issue.
“It’s just one of those things that I think we need to come to terms with and that I hope is something that can be resolved.”
Sun Newspiries parent company, Sun Group, said it would “make a public statement on the matter as soon as appropriate.”
Sun Media Holdings Ltd., a group of newspaper publishers, owns the Sun newspaper chain.