Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Police minister 'disappointed' in SFO boss

Adam Feeley. Photo / Dean Purcell
Adam Feeley. Photo / Dean Purcell

Police Minister Judith Collins is "disappointed" in the Serious Fraud Office boss for celebrating the charges against Rod Petricevic with Bridgecorp champagne and says she does not expect the behaviour to be repeated.

Ms Collins said SFO chief executive Adam Feeley now knew why his actions were inappropriate, but she would raise the matter when she was next briefed by him.

Mr Feeley has already apologised in writing to Ms Collins after she referred the matter to the State Services Commission.

"I think it was very clear that I was disappointed with the events that led to this matter being referred to the SSC in the first place and understand Mr Feeley is now well aware of why his actions were inappropriate," Ms Collins told the Herald. "I don't expect to see a repeat of the behaviour.

"I don't think it's appropriate for a law enforcement body to put itself in a position where it might appear to have acted in an unprofessional manner, even though Mr Feeley was quite clearly trying to congratulate and celebrate the staff for their work.

"The fact is they need to have a very dispassionate view taken in the SFO as well as other law enforcement agencies when they undertake their work. But it's an error of judgment which he has acknowledged."

Mr Feeley was reprimanded by the State Services Commission after the Herald revealed he had used copies of the Allan Hubbard biography as booby prizes last December and a bottle of wine from the Bridgecorp offices last year to celebrate company boss Rod Petricevic being charged.

However, Mr Feeley escaped serious censure for the actions, which State Services Commission chief Iain Rennie said were "ill-advised" and showed a lack of judgment.

Mr Rennie said he would make it clear to Mr Feeley what the expectations were for behaviour as CEO and caution him to act with care.

He said Mr Feeley had apologised to Ms Collins for causing her "unnecessary embarrassment".

Ms Collins yesterday released the written apology, under the Official Information Act, which Mr Feeley sent after the Herald reported the Bridgecorp drinks party.

Mr Feeley wrote that he was disappointed the "lapse in judgment on my part" had undermined the SFO's work.

While his focus over the last two years was about delivering good results to Ms Collins and the public, he admitted the the incidents "inadvertently diminished the public perception of those efforts".

- NZ Herald

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