3 Oct 2019

Full investigation needed into complaints against Deon Swiggs

From Checkpoint, 6:18 pm on 3 October 2019

An independent investigator has found that complaints of inappropriate behaviour against a Christchurch councillor will require a full investigation.

Deon Swiggs has been on leave from council duties for a fortnight after allegations of grossly inappropriate social media messages and insisting on hugs instead of handshakes to people as young as 13.

In the preliminary assessment of the code of conduct complaint against Mr Swiggs, retired High Court judge John Matthews found that two of the five complaints warrant a full investigation.

One of the complaints has been referred to an unnamed agency and the three remaining complaints have been dismissed.

Penny Prescott from the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective - an organisation supporting the complainants - has written to Checkpoint, criticising Mr Swiggs' release of text messages.

She says they are only a portion of what has been raised in the complaint.

Ms Prescott says it is not just the messages that are of concern to the young people, but the overall pattern of behaviour.

She also denies that the timing of the complaints were politically motivated.