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Court papers to be filed against Auckland Mayor Len Brown

Papers to be filed in an Auckland court today allege Auckland mayor Len Brown broke the law by not declaring free hotel rooms and upgrades.

Retired Wellington Accountant Graham McCready is taking a private prosecution against Mr Brown under section 105 of the Crimes Act, specifically corrupt use of a document.

Mr McCready will file two charging documents in the Auckland District Court stating that between November 2010 and November last year, Mr Brown accepted for himself and his wife Shan Inglis three complimentary hotel rooms and five free room upgrades from SkyCity and SkyCity Grand Hotels, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The freebies are estimated to be worth about $4500, according to Mr McCready.

The charges each carry a maximum jail term of seven years.

Mr Brown’s acceptance of the gifts led to "favourable consideration" towards SkyCity and the mayor subsequently voted on matters relating to the casino company without disclosing the gifts in his register of interests, or disqualifying himself, Mr McCready alleges.

The development follows an EY (Ernst & Young) report published after revelations of Mr Brown's two-year affair with Bevan Chuang found the mayor failed to declare $39,000 in free hotel rooms and upgrades in total.

Mr McCready is known for successfully bringing private prosecutions against public figures. These include a case against MP Trevor Mallard for fighting in public, and charges against ACT leader John Banks for filing a false electoral return. The Banks case was taken over by Crown law in October.

Comments and questions

Seven years? Crikey. Some minor questions, all genuine.

What were the issues regarding Sky City that Brown voted on under the alleged conflict of interests? How much have Sky City benefited out of this?

Who does McCready claim that Brown should have declared the freebies to? The Council? IRD?

Were the bookings made on his own behalf, or as a council staffer?

Dam you McCready, I was enjoying hating on Len, now you've come along I can't do that anymore because I despise you more

No doubt Brown will respond by telling us yet again that he "..loves his job.. and just wants clear air, etc, etc.." to be allowed to " ..get on with it, etc, etc.." Irrelevant as defence, but Brown's equally irrelevant and constipated PR team will no doubt roll this out. Pathetic !!

Arise, Sir Graham. This will be your finest hour. Taking down Pants Down.
The Establishment won't have the balls to do it, but the public will acclaim you noble deeds for longer than they ever will too many of the so-called great and the good of the land.

would it matter if the room reservations were made by him or on his behalf?

Never thought I'd say it, but good on Penny Bright & Co for their tenacity in this matter. As both a domestic and commercial ratepayer in this city, I contribute more than half the Mayors annual salary, so like any of my other 'employee's', I would not expect to find them carrying on their 'personal business' in my time - particularly if they were entrusted with overseeing the expenditure of a four-billion dollar budget. For someone elevated to this position, I would expect to know where they are, what they're doing, and where their heads at.....24/7

So out of the 1.5 million people living in Auckland you think because you pay rates you are some sort of hero? Get a grip sunshine if you're so concerned about how your rates are spent either move out of Auckland or suck it up. So lets do the math you pay so much a year on rates so do the other 900k plus people so you really only contributed less than 43cents to Len Brown. How do you want it cash or charge ??

What a vindictive mean spirited old jerk.
Surely there are more profitable things that Graham McCready could spend his time on.
It didn't cost the ratepayer or the taxpayer anything
Get a life some of you

It may have cost us a few million dollars agreeing to tidy up Federal Street; who knows what Len agreed to in return for the freebies - or if Sky City held the threat of releasing details about who he was "entertaining" in his room over his head.

That is the reason that we have these laws - so that, in keeping with them, there can be no accusation of corruption by any party.

Just shows what little understanding you have of the situation....from your comments it sounds to me you are neither a ratepayer nor taxpayer. So before telling others to 'get a life', perhaps you should get a job!

I think the bigger picture here is that if the Court takes this case it might be good to hear from the Attorney General why the punters keep having to doing Crown laws job.
Its getting a bit difficult to ponder where corruption might not be in relation to Sky City.
Not all of us can catch up on the goss at the gentlemans club chaps. Not looking too good from the cheap seats at present.

>... it might be good to hear from the Attorney General why the punters keep having to doing Crown laws job.

Excellent point.

It must be jolly inconvenient having members of the public preventing one letting certain people off easy.

Len is going some way to rehabilitate himself by wearing chain mail trou.

Reading other blogs and comments from those who seem to know more, could this be the perfect storm moment from Mr McCready?

If we have too much more of this carry from the likes of McCready & co, the Government will have to pass legislation stopping plebs like McCready et al, taking politicians to task.

It is simply not on that they should be held accountable. Whatever next..??

This private prosecution is a good thing and the man who has the courage to bring it should be commended. We are guilty as a nation of knocking tall poppies - but worse, we are guilty of letting bad behaviour from bureaucrats slide without proper accountability. What this prosecution appears to be about is the latter. Well done to this fellow in Wellington for generously giving his time and energy (and possibly money) to do this.

Even Len's wife may not spared from this related legal action....sometimes you wonder whether his wife and family have taken the right move to go along with Len in this whole blunder?

If McCready is so righteous and perfect perhaps he should be Mayor,then he could spend his time checking the pennies .
Honestly I don't care about Len Brown and $4500 of freebies, I care about the sneaky demolition orders granted to pull down Auckland's Heritage buildings.

Well you should care about Len Brown's $4,500 of freebies if you care about demolition orders - it is this sort of backhanding that can grease the wheels and let the demolition orders through the system in the first place!

..I'd suggest that freebies for favours re sky city has the same issues as sneaky demolitions orders.

Mr McCready is doing us all a favour.. ..I hope he expands his activities by creating a formal organisation -- funded by public support and takeing cases like this on an ongoing basis. I'd be kicking in a donation!

maybe a friend of Len's who had him around for dinner several times and some expensive wine. Or if not Len someone else - that is why we want some honesty and transperency in what is going on.

As anyone who stays abreast of African politics knows, Robert Mugabe has been the puppet of the Zimbabwe Army generals for over a decade now.
He used them to gain and consolidate power and when he wanted to quit, the generals worked out what might become of them, as he sailed off to exile in Switzerland.
I wonder if we don't have the same situation with Pants Down?
The spin doctors, all $10-12-mil a year of them, are in the same position as the generals, but also 'know where the bodies are buried'. Have they 'convinced' him to stay.....mainly in their own interests? Who is calling the shots now?

I must commend Mr McCready, in a way it is the apathy and lack of substantive participation by all citizens in all aspects of political life that allows for an emergence of quasi-governmental factions and an increasingly polarized class system which in tern leads to corruption or at least a moral incapacity of citizens to take a reasonably interest in the institutions which benefit from a lack of transparency, thank you for reminding us all we do have a voice and we should use it more often.