Health Ministry paid PR expert to deal with media when Nigel Murray quit
A public relations expert who cost taxpayers more than $20,000 when he was hired to manage fallout from the expenses scandal at Waikato District Health Board wrote the chairman’s resignation letter to Health Minister David Clark.
Senate SHJ general manager Julien Leys was hired by then board chairman Bob Simcock to cope with intense public scrutiny and “reset the media narrative” when chief executive Dr Nigel Murray resigned last October following an investigation into his expenses.
Murray was found to have breached travel policy at the DHB on some of the $218,000 of public money he spent over three years travelling for work.
But Leys – whose invoices were sent to the Ministry of Health – also advised Simcock on issues directly affecting his reputation, culminating in writing the chairman’s resignation letter, according to emails released under the Official Information Act.
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