Scaffidi digs in

PERTH lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi is refusing to stand down as opposition leader Mike Nahan joins premier Mark McGowan in calling for her to resign.

Ms Scaffidi released a lengthy statement via Twitter characterising the 45 breaches as an “error of paperwork” that was “inadvertent”.

“As I have maintained from the outset I did nothing dishonestly but I accept I had not disclosed appropriately as it was interpreted as all being in the line of duty.”

Her claims of inadvertent error is at odds with the original Corruption and Crime Commission report and the 103-page finding handed down by the State Administrative Tribunal this week.

The CCC report stated “it is more probably than not that…the failure to disclose was deliberate”.

The SAT also disputed Ms Scaffidi’s claims that she was unaware that third parties were paying, with their report highlighting several instances of her acknowledging via email that foreign governments or companies were picking up the bill (even asking for swanky hotels and to check if a medical conference in Japan would be paying for her husband’s airfare too).

Extensive criticism

Ms Scaffidi’s statement emphasised a section of the SAT finding that “confirms there was no corruption by myself and that contributions made to me were in any way an attempt to exert improper influence.

“Given the extensive criticism by so many that I have endured since May 2015 this reaffirmation (which is conveniently overlooked by many) is more important to me than ANY number of findings.

“In reading the details now provided I hope those who have so viciously criticised me can see how extensive my promotion of our city has been.

“If only once the details of why I travelled and where were ever discussed then maybe the public at large would understand the travel was about the promotion of Perth and WA and is exactly the type of travel a dedicated lord mayor should be undertaking.

“To repeat: The error of paperwork non-disclosures was inadvertent and that is the nub of the issue.”

Ms Scaffidi pointed out “there is no question of my being dismissed from the role: What is sought by the CEO of the department [of local government] is a period of suspension”.

Talking to ABC 720 this week, she said the people of Perth had elected her with full knowledge of these issues and that meant she should see out her four-year term.

However the CCC report was released October 5, several days into the voting period when 65 per cent of the votes were already cast, and the WA Electoral Commission got several calls from people asking if they could take back their vote (they can’t).

With the SAT findings released this week, Mr Nahan joined WA Labor’s call for Ms Scaffidi to stand down.

by DAVID BELL

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