Two weeks ago we received a third paper mail from a KCDC staffer, clearly distraught about the situation where a colleague has allegedly been on paid leave on Mr Maxwell’s orders since September 2020.
As we did with the first two, we invited Mr Maxwell to comment, which he again failed to do. This time instead, however, what we did get was a belligerent e-mail from Mr Tim Power of Power Law whose sole client seems to be KCDC and who spends most of his time in the KCDC HQ at considerable Ratepayers’ expense. This was followed a few hours later by a letter from a Jania Baigent of the major law firm Simpson Grierson in Auckland.
In a covering note, the whistle blower stated to us that she (we’re pretty sure it’s a she) is going to Stuff with the story. Accordingly, we are not posting the whistle blower’s press statement, except to add that the cost to Ratepayers of all this is put at $200,000 by the whistle blower and asks, is it a bribe to this person to keep stumm? There is also mention of a ‘leaked report’ although we have not seen it.
The Simpson Grierson letter also states, “the allegation that a Council staff member is guilty of being an accessory to benefit fraud, is untrue.” We don’t know of any story about a staff member being guilty of being an accessory to fraud as determined by a court — but that doesn’t answer the question of whether there has been an investigation and if so, whether a prosecution is likely.
We are not reproducing the Simpson Grierson letter either as it doesn’t throw any light on any of this.
We can ask, however, why the highly paid Mr Power is unable to cope with issues like this and finds it necessary to run off to big firms to handle them for him. We have been told by the Ombudsman that Mr Power is an independent lawyer, instructed by KCDC. How can Mr Maxwell can justify two independent law firms giving advice on a very simple question of fact? IF KCDC has such little confidence in Mr Power that they have to get a second opinion from an expensive law firm (in this case probably at an extra cost of about $500), that demands explanation. And if there is nothing to do with legal matters here, why did Maxwell not provide the facts himself?
We replied to Baigent as below, inviting her (on behalf of Mr Maxwell) to reconsider the statement in her letter: “the Council does not intend to comment on these attacks.”
No response has been received.