EXCLUSIVE: Brown helped Chuang get council job, gave personal reference

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By Stephen Cook

The Len Brown sex scandal has taken a dramatic new twist today with revelations the two-timing Auckland mayor used his influence to help the woman he was sleeping with get a job at the council-run art gallery.

Less than 72 hours after going public with details of her torrid two-year affair, 32-year-old Bevan Chuang has revealed Brown acted as a referee for her when she successfully applied for a job at the council-run art gallery back in August last year.  

This was more than a year after she and Brown – who earlier claimed Chuang had never been a council employee when in fact he’d endorsed her for a council job – began the affair that’s now threatening his future as Auckland mayor.

Chuang confirmed that after being shortlisted for the position, the art gallery manager rang Brown, who’d she’d listed as a referee, to ask whether she was a suitable candidate for the job.

Brown said she was, and off the back of that endorsement she was given the job.

“…I remember my manager was excited to be the first person in the gallery to have spoken to him (the mayor),” Chuang said.

But what Chuang didn’t disclose to art gallery bosses when applying for the job was the fact she had  a criminal conviction relating to the unauthorized use of a computer.

The conviction dated back to 2010 when she was an employee at the Auckland Museum. Chuang provided a contractor with a password to access a confidential email account believed to contain information detrimental to plans to restructure the museum.

It is still not clear whether Brown knew about the conviction when he endorsed Chuang for the art gallery position – but regardless, the fact the mayor did not disclose a conflict of interest in the appointment of his mistress to a council-run organisation is a clear breach of local government laws.

When Chuang’s conviction came to light about a month after starting work at the art gallery she was sacked.

The new revelations bare a striking resemblance to those in the Bronwyn Pullar case, which eventually led to Nick Smith’s resignation as ACC Minister back in March 2012.

They are almost certainly likely to raise more questions about Brown’s judgment and whether he still retains the mandate of Aucklanders to run the country’s largest city.

Chuang said when she began work at the gallery Brown – who rarely visited the facility – suddenly became a frequent visitor. She said gallery staff would get themselves into “a flap” when they heard Brown was on his way, thinking he was there to see them.

She said the truth was that Brown was there to see her – a fact lost on staff who would “fluff around” after him.

Brown: helped arrange job for mistress Chuang

Brown: helped arrange job for mistress Chuang

  • conwaycaptain

    What more is there to come out??

    • Time For Accountability

      I think it may be a case of less rather than more.
      Hence Bevan’s disappointment.

  • James

    Nicely withheld – almost like you knew he would lie on Campbell Live. Looks like he took that hook, line, sinker and half the bloody boat too!

    • http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/ Keeping Stock

      Haven’t you read Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics James? There’s one along the lines of “Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to”. There’s also one for Len Brown; “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”.

  • kwikkiwi

    He surely must go now if he has any shred of decency. how can he ever show his face again!!

  • Phil Moore

    Red Len should be sacked for being a complete idiot. What sort of fool gets himself into these situations over a bit of skirt. Not someone capable of running our biggest city.

    • http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/ Travis Poulson

      Can’t be sacked, he’s an elected official not an employee. He needs to do the decent thing and step down.

      • Euan Ross-Taylor

        Travis, stepping down would be the honourable thing to do. but Len has already proven that he is far from honourable – don’t hold your breath.

      • Rex Widerstrom

        Time to introduce a Bill making elected office in New Zealand subject to recall.

        How would that work for List MPs, you ask? It wouldn’t, which is why they’d have to nominate an electorate to stand in and even if they didn’t win, could be recalled by. Oh dear, no more Brendan Horan et al. How sad, never mind.

  • hunk4hire .

    Brown won’t go. He has no shame and an ego the size of Mt. Eden.
    Count on it.

  • Time For Accountability

    Deleted for repetitive post

  • Time For Accountability

    Spare a thought for the second in line who missed out because of Len’s stiff member.

    Imagine how the appointer feels.

    This is not an issue about Len’s personal ethics rather it is about his compliance with the council rules.

    I suggest that ratepayers have funded this affair just as they fund Davey trying to spin it.

    Compare that to the alleged misuse of Kohanga Reo credit card spending.
    Is there any difference?

  • blokeintakapuna

    Cronyism to the Max!
    Cunliffe should be calling for Len’s scalp if he’s to maintain form on a given position.

    Mind you, the entire union and Labour Party functions on cronyism rather than ability. They even proudly sing about “last on, first off” which is nothing less than cronyism in drag.

    • Reason1

      Agree, remember the left “crony capitalism” call against John Key for recommending his boyhood friend apply for the job at the GCSB.
      At least no one doubts the qualifications of the successful candidate and the job he is doing. Len Brown put her forward for the job based on her sexual performance, is that how “crony socialism” works?

  • kwikkiwi

    Jobs for blow jobs??

  • James Growley

    I guess Len forgot the cardinal rule – “Don’t fuck the staff, because you will fuck the business”

  • Bunswalla

    If/when Brown resigns, there will be a by-election. He should resign, then stand for election again, and let the people of Auckland decide if it’s a personal or public matter and whether – now knowing what he has done – they still want him as their Mayor. It would be the one honourable thing he can do, if he truly believes he’s the man to run the City. Anything else, he’s just clutching at straws and is prepared to hang on to his job even though it will make the office a laughing stock. And that’s almost as bad as cheating on your wife for 2 years on the public dime.

    • Rex Widerstrom

      Best comment I’ve read on this whole sordid mess. In the absence of recall, it should be the decision of the people of Auckland whether he stays or goes. Not blog commenters, MSM journos, his spin team, or anyone else.

      Sometimes democracy comes at a cost. But it’s always worth paying.

  • SJ00

    Is that Sheep in the background of the photo of Lenny Pants Down and Bevan?

  • Andy

    There is some interesting stuff on Chuang’s LinkedIn page about Japanese Lolita and sexuality workshops she was involved in.

    • Gaynor

      She is a single woman and can do anything she likes.

      • Rubyred

        Sure, but now we all know she has the morals of a dog on heat.

      • Andy

        I was not suggesting otherwise. I was just doing a bit of pop psychology

    • Jay

      “Japanese Lolita” is a (conservative) Japanese fashion. It has NOTHING to do with sex/sexuality or the Nabakov book of the same name. Get your facts straight.

      • Andy

        I was just summarising this part from the LinkedIn page. It’s all feminist mumbo-jumbo so don’t expect me to understand it

        Hardy Bernal, K. A. (2012). Japanese Lolita: Challenging Sexualized Style and
        the Little-Girl Look. In S. Tarrant & M. Jolles (Eds.). Fashion
        Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (pp. 117 – 132). New York: SUNY
        Press.(Link)2012 – 2012Introduction: Feminism Confronts Fashion by Majorie Jolles and Shira Tarrant

        Part I. Dressing the Body: The Politics of Gender and Sexuality

        1. Fashioning a Feminist Style, Or, How I Learned to Dress from Reading Feminist Theory by Astrid Henry

        • Jay

          Basically women challenging sexist/incorrect stereotypes which unfortunately are still rampant and alive in 2013. Your comments above prove that. If you don’t “understand” something, why would you reference it?

          • Andy

            I thought it might be of interest. If it offended you, then I am really fucking sorry

      • Andy

        Funny that. So dressing up as schoolgirls is a conservative tradition. Sound like my kind of conservatism

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  • FredFrog

    Those berms in the top photo are nicely mown.

    • andrew carrot

      She saw those and went over to the Palino campaign

  • wanarunna

    I see the Art Gallery spoke with Len in his capacity as referee. I can just see his response – “She would be perfect for the job – she’s great with Oils, has an intimate knowledge of Miniatures, and she’s very good on Modern Furniture”.

  • Jude

    Len has got to resign!! The mere fact that he hasn’t, displays his true lack of integrity! It is all about power and money and he is a self centered man who chooses to follow his own own needs over the interests of his family and Auckland. One minute he wants privacy and the next he is using his daughters to promote what a caring good man he is. Perhaps he should head to Hollywood as his acting skills are great!!

  • John Grant

    What as the job she had at the Art Gallery ?

  • Danie

    I have a couple of curious questions
    Now with this news on top of that criminal conviction, will she ever get work anywhere, anymore?
    She belittles her co-workers a little bit in her statements towards Len Browns visit to the gallery? – Anyone following up their reaction to this story?
    And also Hotel staff must have linked the pieces together quiet earlier (also remembering the fact it was not just one hotel) how many people knew the scandal then,
    the security guard must have told someone (even one family member) and the story must have spread a little bit. Again adding on to hotel staff how many people knew then.
    Then we have Len Browns staff – the cleaners/PA/Secretary etc anyone whose job is to notice should have known something was up.
    So we have hotel staff + Security guard + Personal Staff = and the story just comes out now …

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