A helpful timeline

Andrew McMillian has put together a detailed timeline of events in the Bevan Chuang and Len Brown affair.  Over 50 items are dated, all referenced and linked.

A few things that I didn’t realise, that the timeline shows:

  • Her involvement in the 2008 general election for a Labour candidate
  • How Brown texted Chuang the very first day he met her
  • That the romantic relationship had clearly started before he provided a reference to her
  • Chuang interviewed for a television show, during the election campaign, despite the fact they are in a relationship

The major issue for Brown is the inquiry set up by the Council CEO. The details were:

An Auckland Council inquiry into mayor Len Brown’s extra-marital spending is being widened to look at a reference the mayor provided for his ex-mistress to help her get a job at Auckland Art Gallery.

A council spokesman said the review – announced by chief executive Doug McKay last Thursday – would probe whether Mr Brown breached the council’s code of conduct and conflicts of interest guidelines set down by the Auditor-General.

The review would also look at whether Mr Brown provided other references for his former mistress, , the spokesman said.

For the review to be thorough, I would expect it to determine the following:

  • When and how did Chuang ask for a reference? Was it during a romantic encounter?
  • Did Brown provide a verbal reference as well as a written one? What was the content of each
  • What role did the reference/s play in Chuang getting the job.
  • How many other people has he provided verbal and written references to as Mayor? How many, if any, were for jobs at the Council or a Council CCO?
  • Did he know that Chuang had been sacked from the Auckland Museum when he agreed to be a referee for her? When did he become aware of this?
  • What contracts did Chuang have with Auckland Council, such as the alleged market co-ordinator contract. When were they granted, was Brown aware of these, and did he play any part in Chuang gaining these?

There is great skepticism that a review set up and reporting to the CEO, will make adverse findings against the CEO’s effective boss. The best way to dampen that skepticism is for the review to be as thorough as possible. By that I don’t mean to focus on the details on the affair. I mean to focus on Len Brown’s actions as Mayor and whether they advantaged Chuang because he was seeking or in a relationship with her. That is the issue of legitimate public interest.

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