The Brown prosecution

The Herald report:

A private prosecution alleging bribery against Auckland’s embattled Mayor has been stalled at the Auckland District Court.

Two charging documents sent to Auckland District Court by retired Wellington accountant state 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 gifts, worth about $4600 by Mr McCready’s calculations, led to “favourable consideration” given by Mr Brown towards SkyCity and parent company SkyCity Casinos, say the documents.

However, in a decision from Judge Emma Aitken released yesterday, she said the private prosecution could not proceed until the Attorney General consented to it.

The Attorney General is almost certain to delegate the decision to the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General is almost certain to decline consent on the basis there is no proof to back up McCready’s assertions.

That is the correct decision.

Len Brown’s behaviour has been woeful, and he should never have accepted freebies from major hotels without declaring them. But that is a very different issue from asserting that the behaviour was corrupt and the freebies were a bribe.

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