Tuesday, 18 December 2007

MP Mallard pleads guilty, convicted in court

Leader Labour bovver boy Trevor Mallard has pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court to 'fighting in a public place', in an attempt to stop the media focus on his bad behaviour.

Mallard was convicted and ordered to make a $500 donation to the Salvation Army's drug and alcohol programme. The guilty plea followed a compromise where the original charge of assault was downgraded, and other court proceedings against him were dropped.

The Cabinet Minister found himself in court after Wellington accountant Graham McCready lodged a private prosecution against him, following an incident in Parliament's lobby where Mallard whacked National MP Tau Henare.

Mallard then returned to Parliament after his court hearing, where he formally apologised to Erin Leigh (a former employee at the Environment Ministry) for questioning her competence and work ethics.

His original comments in Parliament were made after Erin Leigh went public over political interference by Climate Change Minister David Parker. Leigh revealed Parker hired Labour Party activist Clare Curran on an uncontested and lucrative contract for the Environment Ministry.

(It's since been revealed Curran also won a healthy quarter of a million dollars in contracts for the Otago District Health Board... Former Health Minister Pete Hodgson also happened to be the local MP for Dunedin North.

It's understood Curran's communication company has since been awarded another Government contract, to undertake work for the Corrections Department. Curran is seeking the Labour Party nomination for Dunedin South, the seat currently held by embattled MP David Benson-Pope.)

* NZ Herald: Mallard pleads guilty to fighting, says sorry to consultant

* Stuff: Cabinet minister's day of shame

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