Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s assertion that he swiftly “removed” a staff member for leaking information, doesn’t match the former employee’s version.
The ex-employee told Stuff they had not leaked, not been accused of leaking, and left amicably in Goff’s second week to take up another job as previously arranged.
Goff claimed that he “removed a staff member within days of being made mayor” during an interview with Stuff on Thursday.
This is weird. Goff is saying he removed or pushed out this staffer, but the staffer says he knows nothing about it, was never accused of anything, and was leaving anyway.
The worker’s contract in the office of the outgoing mayor Len Brown ended with Goff’s inauguration.
The employee said there was an agreement to stay on for 10 days without additional pay, to help with the transition, before taking up a new role outside the council.
They said the question of how a mayoral letter, listing his choice of councillors to chair committees came to be leaked, had never been mentioned.
Goff last week said: “I needed to talk to my councillors before it was in the public arena and a staff member managed to leak that, and that was the end of their prospects of continuing in employment in my office.”
On Monday, the mayor, through a spokesperson, said he stood by his statement that he “removed a staff member”, but declined to comment further.
Many people will know who this staffer is. It seems rather unfair to accuse him in the media of having been a leaker, when it seems like there was never any accusation put to him or her. It is even potentially defamatory.