One would think that a vital quality for any person running a company – particularly one in the public sector – is honesty. Which is why it defies belief that the former head of Northern Ireland Water, Laurence MacKenzie, was ever appointed to his job at NIW and his previous role as head of Northern Ireland Electricity, having stolen £2,000 while working as a teller at the Bank of Scotland nearly 30 years ago.
It seems that once you have become part of the executive in-crowd the normal standards of competence and probity are dispensed with. The rules of the game are different for members of the club once your friends in high places start to clear grease from the pole to let you climb ever higher.
Small wonder that so many public bodies exhibit falling standards and are tainted by executive incompetence.
Update: Subrosa has more local background from Scotland where the theft took place.