EQC worker misused company cars

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 09:50 02/06/2014

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A 24-year-old woman has been arrested in relation to the misuse of EQC vehicles.

While working for the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the woman allegedly borrowed staff vehicles for unauthorised personal use and was caught out after one was left abandoned on the roadside when it broke down.

She has been charged with unlawful conversion of a motor vehicle, obtaining by deception and using a document, and will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Friday.

The Press revealed on May 28 that an EQC staff member, who no longer works there, used three vehicles for personal use for ''several weeks'' before the breach was discovered in April.

A spokesman said the ''misuse happened at a time when EQC was changing lease arrangements for a number of vehicles and getting others warranted''.

''Following inquiries made by EQC, it was found another two vehicles had been used without authorisation by the same staff member.''

The matter was then put in the hands of police.

''It wasn't [that] someone just borrowed one for the night when they shouldn't have,'' the spokesman said.

The misuse was uncovered when one of the vehicles was spotted on the roadside, having been left there unreported after a mechanical failure.

Procedures around vehicle use were being reviewed. EQC has up to 15 pool cars as well as others assigned to staff and contractors.

Two of the vehicles were ''out of circulation'' because they were being returned to the leasing company and the third was a pool car, which could be used by staff for transport for business purposes.

''That's why it wasn't picked up as early as it could have [been]. When one [missing vehicle] was noticed, [we] did an investigation and found there were two others being misused, and it went from there,'' the spokesman said.

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- The Press

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