Election allegations ill-timed

Members of the public have asked numerous questions at the past two council meetings after printed and online material circulated indicating Cr Griffiths endorsed seven candidates in the October 19 elections. None was a sitting councillors.

Cr Griffiths said his actions were sincere, above board and lawful.

‘I want the best candidates for the City,’ he said.

‘I thought it would have been wrong if I did not do this in the period before the merger (with the City of Canning).

‘We are at the top of our game, we have done particularly well as a council and we must continue to.’

He said he was ready to ‘cop a bit of flak’ for his opinions, even if they jeopardised his chances of mayoral re-election.

‘I will put my hand up for the mayorship and if I crash and burn, so be it, it only matters that whoever is mayor will do the best job for the community.

‘We need to celebrate the democratic process and this community campaign is damaging that.

‘We have 25 candidates, plenty of choice, and that’s a good thing.’

Resident Leon Walker contacted the City detailing one alleged offence under section 4.85 of the Local Government Act 1995, and three under section 4.88.

Section 4.85 details offences relating to bribery and undue influence during elections, for which the penalty is $10,000 or two years imprisonment.

Section 4.88 details offences relating to misleading, false or defamatory statements in elections, for which the penalty is $5000 or a year’s imprisonment.

City chief executive Ian Cowie said returning officer Shaun Major had consulted the WA Electoral Commission.

‘He believes no offence has been committed and no further action will be taken in relation to Mr Walker’s allegations,’ Mr Cowie said.

Mr Walker is now considering action in the Court of Disputed Returns.