Kerre McIvor thinks his excuses for his years of fraudulent offending were pathetic.
Alex Swney seemed a personable enough chap whenever I ran into him at events around Auckland City.
Clearly others saw through him, given his failure to be elected to any of the many public offices he sought, but I found him nice enough.
A little overtly hip, but then he was running Heart of the City, an organisation designed to promote central Auckland and the cool shops and businesses that made their home there. Those trendsetting stores have gone now – scattered to Ponsonby, Britomart and Newmarket – and so too has Swney.
He was sentenced to a five-year, seven-month prison term this week for stealing public money.
His reason? He thought he should have been paid more. (For the record, it’s believed his salary was around $200,000).
He felt he was an unsung hero, whose efforts to promote central Auckland had gone minimally rewarded. He was a bright light, a star, in the biggest city in the country and he wanted the lifestyle that went with his over-inflated sense of self.
And if Heart of the City wasn’t going to pay him enough to fund that lifestyle, then by crikey, he’d take the money himself.
Ratepayers? What did they matter? They were beige, ordinary people who didn’t have vision and big dreams like Swney. Read more »