Council transport boss guilty of $100k corruption


A former employee of Auckland Transport and Rodney District Council has pleaded guilty to receiving bribes of cash and travel worth more than $100,000.

Barrie Kenneth James George, 69, pleaded guilty in the High Court at Auckland today to two representative charges, totalling $103,580.54.

The Serious Fraud Office, which brought the case, said Mr George had been employed as an engineer at Rodney District Council since 1974, then as a senior manager at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport where he was responsible for leading the delivery of maintenance and renewal works until 2013.

Between December 2005 and June 2013, Mr George admitted to receiving undisclosed payments or gratuities while in various engineering and management roles. The gratuities often came in the form of cash, travel, accommodation and entertainment.

SFO Director Julie Read said: "The SFO welcomes Mr George's acceptance of his part in this offending. The offending in this case occurred over approximately eight years. In circumstances such as these, this conduct becomes part of the culture of an organisation, and can continue unquestioned.

"This does not excuse the offending and it is important that employees who are offered gifts, money or benefits by clients (or prospective clients) ask themselves whether their employer is aware of the offer and whether it might be an offence to accept."

Two other men, Stephen James Borlase, and Murray John Noone have also been charged in relation to the investigation and will stand trial later this year. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Mr George will reappear for sentencing on September 1, 2016.