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Lee admits she stole taxpayer money

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, October 12th, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: corruption - Tags: ,

hand in tillJust two hours after TV3 revealed that Melissa Lee had stolen $100,000 from NZ on Air, Lee announced she will pay the money back. Just a few hours earlier she had been insisting it was her money, just a confusion over accounting. Her tune has only changed because TV3’s story exposed that cover story as the lie it is.

Let’s be clear. Lee would not have paid this money back if she hadn’t been caught. She is only acting now try to minimise the political damage.

It’s the Double Dipton school of rorting – take all you can, if you get caught pay it back, pretend it was all some silly mistake (not yours), get fake angry at anyone who suggests that maybe you ought to be punished for stealing from the people of New Zealand. But giving back what you stole does not absolve you of your wrongs.

Actually, the fact that Lee has been able to decide so quickly that she ought to pay the money back shows that she has known for some time that it was not rightfully hers. The line about an “innocent error” over accounting was just a lie, a last ditch attempt to keep the money she stole. If it were just an “innocent error” it wouldn’t have taken the TV3 article to make her pay back the money.

This issue won’t go away. The onus is now on Lee to prove she hasn’t stolen any more NZ on Air money. Jonathan Coleman has to explain how he handled the conflict of interest as Lee’s campaign manager while he knew she was under investigation.

Why did Lee and Coleman think it was OK to cover-up this issue when Lee clearly knew she had no right to the money? John Key is going to have to hold both of them to account. And there are questions about what he knew of this seedy business too.

20 comments on “Lee admits she stole taxpayer money ”

  1. illuminatedtiger 1

    And the New Zealand Sheeple are totally going to buy it. Sad.

  2. Adrian 2

    This has to be the most rotten, corrupt, duplicitious bunch of opportunistic arseholes to be anywhere near Parliament in our history. I know it’s an old story now but at the height of the scandal last year involving Key and the $80 million rort, the Dominion published a picture of the signature on the papers in question, for all the world it looked like J.Key. Key at the time claimed it was someone else. Is it time to look again at that whole episode, for no other reason than the pure joy of putting more pressure on this despicable lot.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Of course it happens all the time, that someone else in the office has the same signature ( but a different name).

      At first he claimed he had left, or was on ‘gardening leave’ at the time but that wasnt true either.

      Just like when he claimed he lived in the Helensville electorate ‘for the previous month’ when angling for the national party nomination ( where they had to hold the doors open to get an inner city ringin to cast his vote against the locals).

      Just like when his Tranzrail share dealings were in his name because it was a mistake by the stockbroker , happens all the time

  3. RedLogix 3

    Sheesh… and I was worried that my wee attempt at humour might have been in bad taste.

  4. Byron 4

    “Lee admits she stole taxpayer money” …Absolving any remaining doubts that she will be a one-term MP

  5. John Dalley 5

    Looks to be worth 6 years to me!

  6. Deam 6

    Eddie, let’s just hope that the government doesn’t pass some retrospective legislation to make it all okay then.

    You do remember that, don’t you?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      And the GST that was spent rather that paying the television companies. They wanted a law change to allow them to pay ‘retrospectively’

  7. bobo 7

    Hopefully this drags out a while like the dipton affair. This gov sure has alot of moonlighters even by tory standards.

  8. Adrian 8

    Did Key know about this on election night, which may explain his “long standing commitment” to be on another holiday? If he knew and he must have, then he is complicit in the deception.

  9. Red Rosa 9

    Another smoking gun………


    Coleman must be the Classic Nat Prat. Biffed for blowing smoke from BAT’s corporate box, goes on to be Associate Minister of Health…

    Hone Harawira must be watching with interest.

  10. HitchensFan 10

    Where is Labour on this and on ACC??? come on guys, seize the moment!!!!!!!!

  11. The Voice of Reason 11

    Problem solved! Mr Floppy is comfortable with it, so it’s all OK now.

    (From Stuff:)

    Mr Key said an innocent mistake appeared to have been made and NZ On Air did not think it was deliberate.

    The contingency accounting sounded confusing, he said.

    “I accept her at her word and I’ve got no reason to dispute that.”

    He did not think the problem would affect Ms Lee as an MP.

    “I don’t think this is going to damage her political career… mistakes do happen. I would expect her to rectify the mistake, if that’s the case, and I am sure she will do that.”

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    At this rate, the AG’s going to be awfully busy over the next few months.

  13. scotty 13

    Seems like shonky ‘s pretty relaxed about his parties’ broad range of rorts and thefts. TFFT.

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