Brown a repeat cheat and liar

Len Brown can’t be trusted. He is a repeat cheat and liar.

As mayor of Manukau he cheated with his credit card. He said he wouldn’t cheat again, but as mayor of Auckland he has now cheated on his phone use.

He has failed to account for a trip to Hong Kong in January.

He has failed to account for gifts including free hotel rooms.

He has lied about a number of things, only admitting accusations once proof makes continued lies impossible.

More of his claims and denials may yet be found to be lies. The biggest problem is that the public can have no confidence in Brown’s word. He can’t be trusted. I think that’s an untenable situation for a mayor.

Brown admits he “is not perfect” but has a job to do as mayor of Auckland. I think he’s too compromised to continue.

As well as cheating on Manukau council and on Auckland council Brown cheated on his first wife. And he cheated on his current wife.

While I agree that marital affairs are normally personal issues Brown involved his affair with Bevan Chuang with his job as mayor – bonking in his office and in other council offices, not reporting phone use as he is required, not reporting hotel freebies as he is required and compromising his decision making as a mayor.

Brown has tried to explain his affair with Chuang as ‘a mistake”. That’s a gross misrepresentation. It was a series of many personal and mayoral mistakes over two years.

A number of times Brown has implied or stated there is nothing worse, nothing more to reveal.

There have been claims Brown has had other affairs. If he has lied about that it is a very public issue, because it would mean he has lied to the public, again.

Brown needs to be asked to front up on whether there were more affairs. If the claims are false he should make it clear that they are wrong. So far he has failed to do that.

As mayor he cannot continue to avoid being open and truthful. Trust in Brown is already severely compromised.

And he has not yet owned up to the severity of his serial lying and cheating.

NZ Herald report:

Mr Brown has never apologised to the council for the two-year affair and showed little remorse on Friday when his free hotel rooms and upgrades were revealed.

Newstalk ZB report Len Brown “still has questions to answer”:

Len Brown is hoping Aucklanders will consider his conduct, including extensive personal use of a council cellphone, in context.

The Mayor thinks he’s done nothing wrong, and says the rules aren’t clear.

“There are differences of opinion, interpretation, and upgrades issue around gifting, the phone utilization, some of the stuff around my car.

“There hasn’t been a real clarity around that when there needs to be, and learnings.”

Len Brown says an overhaul of the issues will make the rules more clear.

No remorse. No proper apology. No good as mayor.

Brown non-specific on “other affairs”

Since news of the Brown-Chuang affair broke there has been a obvious question about whether this was a single affair or if there were more. There have been hints and rumours that there have been others but nothing has been substantiated.

Len Brown has now had interviews with Fairfax and NZ Herald, and the question of other affairs has been put to him.

NZ Herald Len Brown, post-affair: ‘I need to redeem myself’

Have there been other affairs?

There is a matter on record in terms of my first marriage but I am not going to go into that … suffice to say that is a matter that has been acknowledged. It was reported. Not that I’m aware [in recent times].

Brown acknowledges an affair or affairs in a previous marriage. That presumably pre-dates his current marriage and children, one of whom is in her mid-twenties.

Not that I’m aware” is a very strange response to recent times.

Is there anything more to come out that people need to know about?

There had better not be. I have made full disclosure with regard to this matter and it has been horrendous for my family, and that is it.

Curiously the original headline was ‘I have made full disclosure’ but has now been changed – see Whale Oil.

Stuff – Len Brown affair a ‘new low’ in NZ politics:

Among the promises Brown made, he said there would be no further revelations that could damage his – and Auckland’s – reputation. 

“That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be some people that would like to take the opportunity to have some fun and games at the mayor’s expense,” he said. 

“But look, this has been horrendous. I’m just working through this now and expect nothing further than the issues I have to deal with.” 

Again a non-specific response.

Many will see these as evasive answers. If his affair with Chuang was his only sexual dalliance then I would expect him to say categorically that it was the only one. By not doing this Brown leaves himself open to suspicions there could have been others.

If Brown is to have any chance of repairing trust with his wife (as much as it can be repaired once broken) he will have needed to disclose fully and frankly with her, but what they have discussed is one thing that is totally personal.

It matters to the public if there may have been other affairs. It would widen the scope of the possibility of misuse of council funds and giving favours to people he had a personal relationship with.

It would also significantly stuff Brown’s credibility now that he has implied there were no other affairs.

It’s possible Brown recognises that if there were more he is finished as mayor so has nothing (more) to lose by staking his future on no more disclosures.

It’s also possible there were no other relationships – but if that’s the case I would expect Brown to have clearly stated that was the case.

If there were others then Brown’s future depends on their discretion. That would be a huge responsibility for them on the basis of the mayoralty alone, but with the added likelihood they could become very exposed publicly.

That would keep most people quiet if they were the one in the relationship, but it’s possible other people may have observed evidence of other relationships, for example council or hotel staff.

We are left with uncertainty hovering over the extent of Brown’s affairs. If Brown has failed to fully disclose the extent of his relationships then risk of exposure will keep hovering over his job for the next three years, and possibly over his marriage.

Brown would do himself a major favour by openly and clearly assuring the public there were no other affairs. If there were no more.