“Five Fingers” Adam Feeley’s job may be on the line after Judith Collins, the minister responsible for the Serious Fraud Office referred the matter tot he State Services Commission.
The head of the Serious Fraud Office is facing an employment investigation for celebrating criminal charges against Rod Petricevic by serving to staff champagne belonging to Bridgecorp directors.
And a legal expert says it is disappointing to see such behaviour from a government department responsible for such high-level investigations.
A spokesman for Serious Fraud Office Minister Judith Collins said she had referred SFO head Adam Feeley’s actions to the State Services Commissioner, his employer.
Prominent lawyer Nigel Hampton, QC, said last night that Mr Feeley’s actions were “not appropriate at all”.
“A, to celebrate as it were steps along the way and then to publicise it is not appropriate. And B, to do it with property that arguably isn’t yours anyhow seems to me to be rather questionable in its own right. Just because it’s left over or sitting in someone’s office doesn’t make it yours,” he said.
“This is supposed to be an agency that is created to uphold certain principles as to appropriate ownership.”
Mr Hampton said the incident had potential to harm the SFO’s court case against Bridgecorp.
“In the hands of a capable questioner, [the incident] can make them look rather embarrassed and lessen their credibility.
“I think it’s disappointing. You wouldn’t expect, part way through a task, the Commissioner of Police inappropriately celebrating a step along the way in an investigation.”
It is highly inappropriate that the boss of the countries top law enforcement organisation misappropriated the assets, no matter how small, of the shareholders, receivers and liquidators of Bridgecorp, then skited about it to staff and then rubbed those charged noses in the fact by quaffing the stolen assets at a party.
The problem Five Fingers Feeley has is that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
This is the guy who is in the paper and news more than tv celebrities and boasting all the time about what his agency is going to do. Compare the incidence of Adam Feeley in the news with that of new Police Commissioner Peter Marshall.The SFO regularly leaks details of investigations and seems to conduct itself as though they are the Untouchables. This case just highlights the culture that exists and has been allowed to fester at the SFO.
Five Fingers Feeley might have got away with this sort of behaviour under CHris Finlayson or Simon power but I doubt he will get off scot free under The Crusher.