Ex-audit official found dead in Mid-Levels

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 November, 2008, 12:00am

The former deputy director of audit, Johnsman Au Chung-man, 58, was found dead yesterday, hanging in a storeroom at the Mid-Levels block where he lived.

Police said they discovered nothing suspicious and no note was found at the scene.

The former official retired in August after taking pre-retirement leave from March. He had worked for the Audit Commission for 31 years.

Paramedics and police were called to Realty Gardens in Conduit Road at about 3pm when Mr Au was found hanging inside the ground-floor storeroom of Paris Court, one of the buildings in the estate. Mr Au and his family had lived on the 19th floor of Paris Court since 1997.

He was declared dead at the scene. His wife told police she did not know why he might have taken his own life.

Mr Au joined the Audit Commission in 1977 as an auditor and became deputy director of audit in 1996.

Director of Audit Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun said last night that he was deeply saddened by Mr Au's death.

The commission said in a statement that Mr Tang would 'render every assistance' to Mr Au's family.

Commending Mr Au's high standard of professional competence and integrity, the statement said: 'His extensive knowledge and expertise in government finance and public sector auditing had enhanced the quality of work of the Audit Commission.

'His contribution to the work of the commission will always be remembered.'

Former director of audit Dominic Chan Yin-tat told TVB news that Mr Au was an outgoing person and it was hard to believe he had committed suicide.

'We worked together for so long ... He was very extroverted. He handled challenges and pressure well,' Mr Chan said.

Quoted in the Civil Service Newsletter before he retired, Mr Au said retirement from the service was 'as inevitable in life as death and taxes'.

He said that as a government auditor, his time had been divided between 'number-crunching' and being a kind of detective.

Mr Au took up flying in his 30s and held United States and Hong Kong commercial-pilot licences.