A suspended councillor accused a colleague of not having the guts to talk to him in person and being a dirty politician - it was the third and final complaint made about his "abusive" behaviour.
But ostracised Waikato Regional councillor Fred Lichtwark told the Herald the whole investigation was an example of "how to get shafted when you fall out of favour" after he challenged councillors about the council's governance processes.
Details of the investigation into the complaint made by fellow regional councillor Barry Quayle against Fred Lichtwark were finally released to the Herald by the council under the Local Government Official Information Act today.
Last month Lichtwark was suspended from attending all committee meetings until August as a result of three separate complaints being laid against him by councillors Pamela Storey, Stu Husband and Barry Quayle last year. The details of the two other investigations were released in February.
Quayle complained texts sent by Lichtwark about him voting to disestablish his community restoration committee last year and challenging "appalling" decisions made by his contracts subcommittee were both disrespectful and were threatening, according to the report.
"You didn't have the guts to actually talk to me or is this just because you promised your vote to Russ for the cheers [chair's] job" to challenged [challenge] him over disestablishing the community restoration committee," one text said.
Lichtwark also texted him that a survey done by councillors about disbanding the two committees was based on "careless nonsense liars [lies] and heresay [hearsay]" which "suits dirty politics and dirty politicians".
Quayle told the investigator Lichtwark calling all those who participated in the survey liars and dirty politicians was an affront to himself and his fellow councillors and took issue with the "aggressive, abusive and offensive" communication towards him.
But Lichtwark disagreed Quayle had been singled out and had texted other councillors, including Tippa Mahuta, asking them why they had also decided to disestablish his committee and had no faith in him.
Lichtwark also stood by calling the council's decision to disestablish his committee by doing a quick
survey he did not even complete as being "dirty politics" and said it was lies that he wasn't happy with the committee.
He told the investigator he did have concerns about the council's "lack of transparency around the awarding of large-value contracts without going through a tendering process" and was not threatening Quayle but telling him the actions he was taking.
The $8000 plus investigation, carried out by former Hamilton mayor and employment lawyer Julie Hardaker, found Quayle's complaint about the way Lichtwark had questioned decisions made by his contracts committee and telling him he was complaining to the Department of Internal Affairs was not a breach.
However, she deemed the texts sent by Lichtwark to him breached the code because elected members must not send electronic communications to others than may be viewed as potentially offensive or that may bring council into disrepute such as sending derogatory remarks about people or organisations.
The Herald previously reported Hardaker found his behaviour towards councillor Pamela Storey in a car park, via text messages and calling her a "bitch" behind her back was also a breach of the elected members' code of conduct.
In an unusual move, he was also found in partial breach for a message he left on Stu Husband's phone when he told him to "grow some nuts" - despite Husband not complaining about the message.
Only fellow councillors can make complaints under the council's elected members code of conduct.
Following repeated questions from the Herald, WRC democracy and community services team leader Sarah McLeay defended the "legally correct" report, saying it was "possible" to find a breach of the code without a complaint being made.
"As part of the investigation it became apparent that there had been a breach of the Code and therefore a response was recommended. At no time did Ms Hardaker make a complaint."