The husband of a NZ First MP is under investigation amid allegations the criminal records of a former party official were accessed.
The Corrections Department has confirmed it is looking into a complaint against one of its managers, Dennis Taylor, husband of first-term list MP Asenati Lole-Taylor.
The complaint relates to a 2012 party convention when it is alleged previous drink-driving convictions of former director and Mana electorate chairwoman Marise Bishop were divulged to senior party members when she sought re-election.
Bishop was interviewed by police in Wellington in June 2012, but the matter was not taken any further. A spokeswoman for Corrections confirmed a complaint was laid with it last month.
Lole-Taylor said yesterday she did not know about the investigation, or who laid the complaint.
But the accusations were politically motivated and "blackmail", she said. "I can't answer for my husband . . . I know nothing about it. I have no idea what this is all about. My husband doesn't know anything about what's going on and he feels that somebody is after him or after me, being a Member of Parliament."
Bishop is a former Defence Force communications operator and sales consultant. She had previously disclosed her record to the party.
Lole-Taylor says she does not recall the incident at the convention. "I know she was involved with NZ First, but her involvement is not something I took much notice of. This is why I am getting really surprised at the allegations."
Evidence should be put forward to back up the claims, she said. "I don't spread gossip . . . It sounds like my poor husband is being dragged into something he doesn't know anything about. I think it is completely, very, very unfair."
Best known for her colourful Twitter account, Lole-Taylor is the party's Corrections spokeswoman and worked as the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Service's adviser for the Pacific-Northern region before her election.
Taylor is a manager for the department in Auckland.
A source said any accessing of Justice Ministry records would be flagged electronically.
A newspaper article from 2001 shows Bishop, then 31 and living in Napier, told a service station attendant she was a detective. She pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, refusing to supply a blood sample and impersonating a police officer in Timaru.
The court was told she drove intoxicated into a service station, got petrol and then verbally abused the attendant before driving away. She was sentenced to six months' jail, suspended for two years, six months' periodic detention and six months' supervision with drug and alcohol counselling and residential treatment. She was also disqualified from driving.
A spokeswoman for Corrections said the complaint was made on June 14, and the outcome of the investigation was two weeks away. There would be no further comment until then.
Bishop said she was "one of" the people who laid a complaint. It was "a very hot story", but she did not want to say anything else. "I'd prefer to wait till it's all over . . . It's a bit overwhelming at the moment."
- The Dominion Post
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