UPDATED: Hotel stays at heart of delays in releasing Len Brown report
"The free room was because he is the Mayor, if Anybody else went in and asked for a free room from a hotel I wonder what the answer would be?"Featured comment
The hold up continues for the release of the Ernst & Young report investigating whether any council resources were used during the Auckland mayor's extra-marital affair with Bevan Chuang.
The use of hotel rooms by Mayor Len Brown is at the heart of the delay, the Herald reports. He sometimes used hotel rooms when he had early morning or late-night commitments in the city.
Mr Brown reportedly has held a draft of the report since last week and is seeking legal advice. The report’s findings was supposed to take four weeks, but it’s now in week seven.
He’s expected to give feedback to council chief executive Doug McKay, who asked for the report in October. Mr McKay has not given Mr Brown a deadline.
Councillor Cameron Brewer says he is surprised the inquiry is taking so long and Mr Brown is "seemingly becoming so obstructive" since his promise to Aucklanders saying he has nothing more to hide.
“The CEO needs to know he has many elected representatives behind him and the support of the people of Auckland to rise above any political pressure from the mayor’s office and just keep doing what’s required. The sooner he can release the report, the sooner the organisation and Auckland Council can start moving forward again,” Mr Brewer told NBR ONLINE.
Mr McKay is expected to make the findings of the report public. He is receiving legal advice from Queen’s counsel Simon Moore, a crown solicitor.
The EY report is investigating use of council resources in respect of the mayor's relationship with Ms Chuang that violated council policies, whether she was given preferential treatment, and any other issues the reviewers or chief executive considers to relate to these matters.
It’s unclear who is advising Mr Brown and who is paying for it.
This morning NBR ONLINE asked the mayor's office how long he intends to review the draft report. His spokesman Glyn Jones told NBR ONLINE all inquiries to the report should be directed to Mr McKay's office.
Mr McKay's media adviser has not returned a call from NBR ONLINE this morning.