A former commander of the Shoalhaven Local Area Patrol has been appointed as interim State Emergency Services Commissioner.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart had been appointed to the position after head of the NSW SES, Commissioner Mark Smethurst resigned last Friday after being accused of misconduct.
Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said Assistant Commissioner Stewart — who runs the force's Communications and Security Command — had a "long and distinguished" career.
Supt. Stewart joined the NSW Police Force in 1985 as a general duties officer in Maroubra before moving into investigations across regional NSW in Cowra, Gunnedah and Moree.
He was later the Crime Manager at Barwon and then Commander at Shoalhaven and Wollongong.
Before his promotion to Assistant Commissioner, Mr Stewart was relieving as the Acting Assistant Commissioner at the Major Events Incident Group.
Mr Grant did not detail the nature of the allegations against Mr Smethurst but in a statement said he had "no tolerance for misconduct and allegations will always be taken seriously no matter who they relate to”.
"Appropriate measures have been put in place to support those affected by this matter,” he said.
Mr Smethurst was appointed Commissioner in February 2017, having served in the Australian Army for 35 years — most of which was spent in the Special Forces.
It's understood the complaints were made recently and an investigation was launched not long before Mr Smethurst stepped down.
Mr Grant said Mr Stewart has had a "long and distinguished career" with the police, and also has extensive experience in emergency service management.
The police minister said the thousands of dedicated SES volunteers would be in good hands with Mr Stewart.
"I’m confident that their important work will continue under the leadership of Acting Commissioner Stewart," he said.