A 13-year-old alleges Christchurch City councillor Deon Swiggs gave him unwanted hugs and called him a “very attractive lad”.
Swiggs has revealed himself as the person under investigation for allegedly sending “grossly inappropriate” messages to three young people. However, he denies all allegations of misconduct.
Stuff revealed on Friday the city council was investigating a councillor’s behaviour after a youth group made a formal complaint on behalf of teenagers to the council’s acting chief executive Mary Richardson on September 4.
It was alleged Swiggs sent young people inappropriate social media messages, including a sexually explicit meme. The teenagers are reported to be as young as 13.
I’ve met Deon a couple of times and was impressed with him. His CV of service to Christchurch is exemplary. But none of that matters when such serious allegations have been made.
On Sunday, Dalziel confirmed she knew of allegations against Swiggs for months before an investigation started, and he was told to avoid contact with young people.
She was approached in May by members of a youth group about their concerns.
Dalziel has known since May! Unbelievable. And one can’t ignore the politics that Dalziel is a Labour Mayor and Swiggs a former Labour activist. In fact he stood to replace Dalziel as the Labour candidate in Christchurch East, losing to Poto Williams.
Dalziel said on Monday she had acted in good faith at all times and could only act on the basis of the information she had been given.
“I was not provided with the most serious of the allegations which has now been brought to my attention,” she said.
“The allegations that have now been made and advised to me last Thursday go much further than I was originally told and cast a different light on the situation.”
This is all very deja vu. It sounds near identical to Ardern and the allegations about one of her staff. They knew about them for months, but then claim once to goes public that they didn’t know about the most serious stuff.
Is this now the standard script for Labour Party scandals? “I knew, but I didn’t know how bad it was”.
There is no way that this should have all been kept secret for months, and an investigation only launched after nominations closed for Council.