Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has been indicted by a State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) report for breach of professional norms and violation of Local Government Act 45 times.
The inquiry by the director-general of the Department of Local Government (DLG) was preceded by a report from the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC). The CCC report also blamed Scaffidi for serious misconduct.
The DLG report submitted to the government raises allegations relating to gifts and contributions received between January 2008 and October 2015. The charges pertain to accepting prohibited gifts and failure in disclosing gifts and contributions received for accommodation and travel, reports The ABC.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson told the State Parliament that DLG’s report on Scaffidi has taken a serious look at the Mayor’s nondisclosure of gifts and contributions received on various occasions.
“The director-general considers that the most appropriate course is to commence proceedings in the State Administrative Tribunal alleging that the Lord Mayor has committed serious breaches,” Simpson said.
The SAT can disqualify Scaffidi from office for five years or opt for a less serious action by asking her to take part in training or apologise publicly.
Meanwhile, WA Premier Colin Barnett said he believed Mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s travel was “excessive.” But he did not press her to resign but said he would have sacked her if she was a minister, reports The West Australian.
In Parliament, the Opposition challenged Simpson over the report’s findings and asked whether he would ask for the Lord Mayor’s resignation.
Among the 45 allegations, 21 of them are linked to Scaffidi’s attendance at events in the seven-year period from 2008, including Beijing Olympics and the Broome Cup.
The report indicted the Mayor for taking the hospitality of Hawaiian Property Investments. “Hawaiian was part of a consortium seeking a financial contribution of $180,000 from the city at the Ordinary Council Meeting of 24 Jun 2008, to assist in the scoping and planning of a Business Improvement District Strategy for the Perth central business district,” the report said.
The DLG report said the mayor was aware of the business group’s request and had presided at the Ordinary Council Meeting. It said Mayor Scaffidi should have refused their gift knowing that Hawaiian was part of the consortium.
It also cited the Perth Mayor’s illogical conduct in accepting BHP Billiton funded business class airfares and accommodation for herself and her husband during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Scaffidi said she will not resign as there was no intentional withholding of information. The Mayor said she hoped the report would end the ordeal.