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The former chief executive of the Australian Federal Police has resigned after she was accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by a former colleague.

The former police officer is suing the ABC for $4.6 million.

Ms Kelly is suing for defamation, breach of trust and breach of privacy, claiming the ABC breached its duty of care and breached the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) Code of Practice.

In a statement, the ABC said it was aware of the allegations and the former chief was “disappointed” in her decision to resign.

The ABC is also conducting a full internal review of the conduct of its journalists.

The complaint alleges the alleged harassment and improper behaviour occurred during Ms Kelly’s time as the head of the police’s Sexual Assault and Offences Division.

Ms Walsh said the matter was “serious and deeply concerning”.

“I have been made aware of this matter and will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from any member of my staff, and I want to ensure the safety of all my colleagues,” she said.

The alleged behaviour included Ms Kelly asking for a photo of a female officer with the words “go f— yourself” on her cheek.

She was also accused of inappropriately touching the breasts of an officer and grabbing her breast in a hotel room while she was on holiday in Europe in 2014.

Ms McCarthy was promoted to the position of chief executive after Ms Kelly left the department in 2015.

The union representing police officers said Ms Walsh had been promoted to chief executive without proper investigation or due process.

A spokesperson for Ms Kelly said she had been relieved of her duties.

“It’s not appropriate for a person to be promoted without having the appropriate investigation conducted and a full investigation conducted by a senior person.

The chief executive has taken appropriate disciplinary action and has not been disciplined by the ABC,” the spokesperson said.

Ms Watson is also seeking an apology from the ABC.

A spokeswoman for the AHRC said the ABC was required to conduct an internal investigation into the matter.

“Any complaint about conduct by a journalist is treated seriously by the organisation, and any action taken to remedy a complaint must be approved by the board,” the spokeswoman said.

“We consider complaints against staff to be very serious and serious matters.”

A spokesman for the ABC told News.org.au it had not been contacted about the allegations.

Ms Wilson is a member of the union representing NSW police officers.

“I’m not surprised that a woman would be in a position to take the allegations, because of the nature of the behaviour that was described to me and the fact that I am a woman, and that this is a matter that’s been dealt with internally by the police,” she told News Corp. News Corp has also reported the allegations against Ms McCarthy.

The newspaper has apologised to Ms Walsh.

A spokesman from Ms McCarthy’s lawyer said he was unable to comment because of a confidentiality agreement.

ABC news reporter, Nick Smith, was accused by a fellow reporter of sexual assault in February.

He has been cleared by the media watchdog, the Australian Press Council, of the allegation.

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