An Auckland Transport manager convicted of taking $103,580 in bribes from one roading contractor received $250,000 worth of travel from a second roading contractor which the Serious Fraud Office chose not to investigate.
Last September, Barrie George was sentenced to 10 months' home detention after being convicted for accepting $103,580 in cash, travel, accommodation and entertainment from a roading contractor, Projenz.
Court documents show that George also admitted receiving 19 holidays between 2007 and 2012 valued at $250,000 or thereabouts funded by another roading contractor, Hiway Stabilizers.
We are talking about travel in that realm aren't we, $250,000-odd
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Last week, George's boss Murray Noone and Projenz managing director Stephen Borlase were sentenced at the High Court in Auckland to five years and five years six months respectively after being found guilty of bribery and corruption.
In evidence given as a Crown witness in the trial against Noone and Borlase, George admitted taking trips to Thailand and Fiji, plus family trips to Japan, where his son was in prison.
George accepted that on at least three occasions in relation to travel to Fiji between April 2011 and April 2012 another Auckland Transport employee, Allan Roke, had similar travel paid for by Hiway Stabilizers associated with George's travel to Fiji.
"We are talking about travel in that realm aren't we, $250,000-odd," Crown prosecutor Brian Dickie asked George in relation to a number of trips funded by Hiway Stabilizers.
"Correct," George said.
Court documents show that Hiway Stabilizers and Projenz shared the costs of some of George's travel.
George had been employed as an engineer at Rodney District Council in 1974, rising to become a senior manager both at the local authority and at Auckland Transport. By 2013, he led the delivery of maintenance and renewal works. Rodney District Council was disestablished in 2010, becoming part of Auckland Council.
Serious Fraud Office director Julie Read said the SFO made a decision not to investigate the Hiway Stabilizers matter.
"We note that it was not associated with the Auckland Transport issue. The SFO will not be providing any further information in this regard as such information is protected under the SFO Act," she said.
Last week, Read said the decision to only charge Noone and George "was a hard decision, it wasn't one we made easily".
Read said there were "quite a few different shades of grey in this".
"We need to put the misconduct before the courts, and that often doesn't require prosecuting every last offence. In this case there were obviously a lot of people who received something but weren't charged - you have to decide how much of the court's time to take up," Read said.
Last week, the Herald revealed six other Auckland Transport staff members departed after an internal investigation began into the scandal in 2013. Roke resigned during this period.
Auckland Transport said it could not comment on individual cases, but the departures were due to "trust and confidence issues" and included non-compliance with gift and inducement policies.
An Auckland Transport spokesman said the council agency was unaware of the Hiway Stabilizers matter with George, saying it appears to have been uncovered by the Serious Fraud Office as part of its investigations.
He said Auckland Transport had no direct contracts with Hiway Stabilizers, they may subcontract but "we wouldn't necessarily have any visibility of that".
When the Herald contacted Hiway Stabilizers today to ask about the travel for George, a senior employee said he was just walking into a meeting and hung up. Further attempts to contact the company for comment were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Auckland Transport has announced it will be publicly releasing details of all its contracts. Previously it released details of all contracts valued above $50,000.
Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy said the publicly-funded body wanted to be as transparent and accountable as possible.
Activist Penny Bright, who has pushed for details of all council contracts to be made public, welcomed the decision but was still pushing for details of sub-contracts to be made public.
Additional reporting Matt Nippert