New Zealand Law Society - SFO closes investigation into former Waikato DHB head

SFO closes investigation into former Waikato DHB head

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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has closed its investigation into Dr Nigel Murray, former CEO of the Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB).

SFO Director Julie Read says she has closed the investigation having determined that committing the additional very high level of resources required to prove criminal charges beyond reasonable doubt was not in the public interest.

"The furtherance of this investigation to obtain evidence sufficient to satisfy the criminal standard of proof would have required extensive investigations in Canada and the public interest did not warrant the expenditure required given the total quantum of the amounts allegedly obtained," she says.

The SFO says it notes that Dr Murray’s conduct has already been subject to an employment investigation by the Waikato District Health Board in 2017, and an investigation commissioned by the State Services Commission (SSC) in 2018.

The SSC investigation found that Dr Murray’s conduct did not meet the minimum standards expected of him as a CEO in the State sector, and that more than half of his travel and accommodation expenses were unauthorised or unjustified. The matter was referred to the SFO to investigate whether there had been any wrongdoing of a criminal nature. The SFO concurs with the conclusions reached by the SSC about Dr Murray’s conduct