That a serving Justice minister should be forced to resign (she says she offered, but let’s face it, that’s what John Key telephoned her to say. ‘Clear my name’ motivation notwithstanding, it seems pretty clear she was given the options: stand down or be stood down); then find herself under inquisition in front of a retired judge, with her integrity and good judgement being examined for consistency with written records; required to surrender her electronic devices for cloning, to supply her passwords for email and social media accounts (the contents of these were, at least, brokered through KPMG for ‘relevance’ to the inquiry’s terms of reference); then peppered with questions by a smart lawyer, Victoria Casey, trained to locate and explore inconsistencies in her ‘story’ – well, it must have been a nightmare.
As a former lawyer (she retains a practicing certificate, she declared to the inquiry in the third sentence of her affidavit) who had been involved with her local law society, she would be aware of the endless parade of evidence presented to disciplinary committees demonstrating that lawyers can and frequently do fail a ‘fit and proper person’ standard — in similar proportions to, say, real estate agents. If not worse.
Add to that the stress of not knowing what else her ‘family friend’/needy puppy/febrile blowhard Cameron Slater had blabbed to his mates and his paymasters (shudder); and, of course, the icy chill of the terrible thought (paraphrased): “OMG! What have I ever said (or emailed, or Facebook-messaged etc etc) to that clown that might come back to bite me on the bum now?”
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