AT least four Perth city councillors are seeking tens of thousands of dollars to cover legal fees stemming from the local government inquiry into the city.
Under council policy they can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per instance if they have legal costs relating to their position.
The three state government-appointed commissioners currently filling in for the suspended councillors will decide at the next council meeting whether to reimburse them, and they also have the power to raise the $10,000 cap.
A report to the commissioners from CEO Martin Mileham’s office states “four requests by suspended Elected Members have been received, each seeking financial assistance in utilising their preferred legal representative as it relates to the Panel Inquiry”.
The four are unnamed. Any reimbursement would be paid by the city’s legal insurer, Chubb Insurance, with council funds covering the excess.
The insurer would determine the “reasonableness” of the claim.
Meanwhile, deputy lord mayor Jemma Green and Cr James Liminios are seeking undisclosed legal costs at the next council meeting.
Cr Green has asked for reimbursement for legal fees following a secret probe into the CEO dubbed “Project Percy” (after the Council parking mascot Percy the car).
In the aftermath, which sparked an internal inquiry, Cr Green hired law firm Bennet + Co to act for her.
Cr James Limnios is also seeking legal fees as he hired Hale Legal during a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation late last year.
He and councillor Reece Harley had reported each other for misconduct to the CCC, which found that there was no evidence to support either allegation.
Cr Harley did not submit a request for reimbursement.
by DAVID BELL