November 30, 2015 – 10:03AM
Lisa Scaffidi is on the verge of resigning after fresh probe. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Embattled Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi is on the brink of quitting after the Department of Local Government said it was going to investigate her travel rort scandals, according to the ABC.
The Corruption and Crime Commission last month found Ms Scaffidi was guilty of serious misconduct when she failed to disclose three gifts in 2008 and 2009: a Beijing Olympics hospitality package, Leeuwin Concert tickets and Broome Cup accommodation.
Although the CCC did not return any findings of corruption the Department of Local Government said it would consider misconduct issues.
The ABC reported on Monday Ms Scaffidi was on the verge of resigning after the department said it was planning to launch a new investigation because it couldn’t “rely on the information obtained by the CCC”.
The ABC said the Lord Mayor was set to meet with Premier Colin Barnett this week to announce her future, but a spokesman for the Premier said there was no planned meeting with Ms Scaffidi.
Mr Barnett said despite Ms Scaffidi’s “poor decision” he would not call for her resignation and he thought it would not necessarily be the best thing for Perth.
He said at the time Ms Scaffidi had been a good and enthusiastic mayor and a “good face” for Perth, but the issues were serious.
“The Lord Mayor of Perth is seen the most senior position in local government in the state and therefore bears an extra responsibility,” he said.
“When you get invited overseas I guess it’s a matter of judgement on whether you should accept or not.
“I have trouble with the accepting of the offer of the trip to the Olympics from BHP, I don’t think she should have accepted that … [with] the amount involved, and it’s a private company, has dealings with the state government and the City of Perth and the like.”
WA Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he was also unable to sack Ms Scaffidi.
“[The Local Government] Act doesn’t allow me to sack a council or a mayor. If a person is charged with an offence it’s up to the individual to choose to resign,” he said.
Mr Simpson said the act provided for fines of up to $10,000 and jail terms of up to two years if a person in office was found guilty of an offence.
He did dump her from the Local Government Standards Panel in the wake of the CCC report.
Ms Scaffidi was re-elected Lord Mayor for the third time last month with 2266 votes – 54.76 per cent of the total vote – compared to opponent Reece Harley’s 1872 votes.
The voter turnout was just 36 per cent, more than eight per cent less than when Ms Scaffidi was re-elected in 2011.
Ms Scaffidi and the Department of Local Government have been contacted for comment.
WA Today .com.au