SFO head to take on council role

Head of the Serious Fraud Office Adam Feeley has just been named Queenstown Lakes District Council's new chief executive.

A lawyer and renowned as the chief executive behind the transformation of Auckland's Eden Park from 2007 to 2009, Mr

Feeley will start his new Queenstown role within the next three months.

He will replace council chief executive Debra Lawson.

Feeley announced today that he was quitting as head of the SFO after less than three years in the job.

"The focus of the past few years has been to give the public increased confidence that fraudsters will be held to account, and rebuild the capacity of the SFO," he said in a statement.

"While there is still work to be done, I think that a very talented team within the SFO has achieved an enormous amount. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the SFO and I’m confident the team will continue to prove that the SFO are as good as any agency in the world for tackling serious financial crime."

He would be moving his family to Queenstown, a district which he had a long affinity with, he said.

Feeley, a qualified solicitor, was appointed to the head SFO position in November 2009.   

He was previously chief executive of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board.

He has led investigations into Timaru businessman Allan Hubbard, several failed finance companies and New Zealand's largest case of employee fraud - when $17.8 million was stolen by ASB Bank worker Stephen Versalko.

And he oversaw the biggest shake-up of the SFO in its two decades.

However, he came under fire last year for celebrating the charges against Rod Petricevic with Bridgecorp champagne.

Then-police minister Judith Collins said she was ''disappointed'' in him.

He was also revealed to have used copies of the Allan Hubbard biography as booby prizes at a Christmas party - earning him a reprimand from the State Services Commission.