LISA SCAFFIDI has successfully appealed some of the State Administrative Tribunal’s rulings against her.
On November 30, the court of appeal overturned 26 of the 45 “serious breaches” of undeclared gifts and travel found against Ms Scaffidi by the three-member SAT panel.
Many of the breaches that were overturned related to Ms Scaffidi travelling to speak at a conference or attending press council meetings, as they were an integral part of her mayoral duties, and weren’t gifts.
The breaches relating to accepting BHP Billiton’s Beijing Olympics package, and the Broome trip paid for by Hawaiian, remain upheld, along with undeclared travel to Seoul, Houston, Kagoshima and Dubai.
Ms Scaffidi will now have a new penalty hearing in front of a new set of SAT members.
The decision overturns Ms Scaffidi’s 18-month disqualification, while we wait for a new hearing, and the court of appeals ordered the department of local government to pay for Ms Scaffidi’s breaches appeal, and half the cost for her penalty appeal.
The court of appeals also said some of the criticism the SAT doled out to Ms Scaffidi, such as that her conduct was “grossly careless”, was based on incorrect findings.
It could take up to three months for the SAT to make a new order.
The decision means Ms Scaffidi could come back as lord mayor now, as she’s currently stepped down from lord mayoral duties while the appeal played out.
As we were going to print, Ms Scaffidi released a statement saying she wants to sit down for mediation with the local government department to negotiate an appropriate penalty.
She says if they continue to refuse mediation, “then I will have done everything within my power to bring this matter to finality as soon as possible and, accordingly, will resume my duties as lord mayor”.
by DAVID BELL