Reprinted From The Christchurch Press, 19 August 2009
“It’s OK Officer, I work here”
By IAN STEWARD – The Christchurch Press
A Christchurch tax worker fed up with his bosses has made a spectacular protest by driving his car through three plate-glass windows in the Inland Revenue building.
David Theobald, 47, a musician and 25-year Inland Revenue employee, posted photographs on the internet of his protest, which he made at 6.30am on Saturday. The pictures showed his car “parked” in the Cashel St building.
A blog accompanying the photos said Theobald, a long-time member of rock and punk band The Axemen, “decided he had had enough and wasn’t going to take it any more after years of abuse” from Inland Revenue.
“Driving into the place that had been his nemesis for the past 25 years, he felt an eerie calm as he took the final turnoff, revved the vehicle and drove through three plate-glass windows and into the reception area,” it said.
Theobald said he was careful not to trample broken glass into the department’s new carpet because “I didn’t want to get in trouble”.
He waited “calmly” for police and quipped when they arrived: “It’s OK officer, I work here.”
Theobald appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday charged with intentional damage and reckless driving.
He was re-arrested and his bail conditions were altered, ordering him to stay away from the Inland Revenue building, after he stood outside and sent text messages to his workmates “to show them I’m not in the loony bin”.
Theobald is known in music circles as Mick Elborado. He has played in several bands since the early 1980s.
A picture on the blogsite of Theobald and his Mazda 626 was captioned: “Mick at grand opening of Inland Revenue’s new 24hr drive-thru in Chch.”
An Inland Revenue spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the incident and said no-one had been hurt. The damage “did not compromise activities”, she said.
She declined to comment further.
Theobald posted the letter suspending him from work, written by a human resources manager, on the internet.
“Information has come to my attention which indicates that you may have intentionally driven a vehicle through Inland Revenue’s Christchurch building,” the manager wrote.
“I am concerned that your conduct may be inconsistent with the code of conduct.”
Theobald said his actions were the culmination of a three-year employment dispute centred on “workplace bullying”.
Theobald said he believed destruction of property was a last resort after all other checks and balances had failed. “I take all responsibility for these actions. You’ve got an evangelist on your hands here,” he said.
A founding member of The Axemen, Steve McCabe, began a Facebook support group for Theobald titled “Mick Elborado is innocent”. McCabe said Theobald was innocent because he had been provoked into the act by years of bureaucratic and institutional bullying.
Reprinted from NZPA, 19 August 2009
Man in court after driving into IRD building
NZPA, NZPA August 19, 2009, 7:26 am
A disgruntled Inland Revenue employee who intentionally drove through the organisation’s Christchurch building has appeared in court.
David Jerrold Theobald, 47, appeared in Christchurch District Court yesterday charged with intentional damage and reckless driving, after driving into the building at 6.30am on Saturday.
The car crashed through two sets of glass doors and smashed a third on the other side of the foyer before coming to a stop.
He was remanded on bail to reappear on August 31.
Theobald, who had worked at IRD for 25 years, told the Dominion Post the incident followed a three-year employment dispute.
He said he was fed up with what he saw as concealment of workplace bullying and incompetent management at Inland Revenue.
“This has been going on for three years, and now I’ve got four official information requests in with them and they’re making that as onerous as possible … This was just a way to make a gesture.”
Inland Revenue would not comment on the incident, but Theobald said he had received a letter from IRD’s human resources saying: “Information has come to my attention which indicates that you may have intentionally driven a car through Inland Revenue’s Christchurch building … I am concerned that your conduct may be inconsistent with the Code of Conduct.”