DISGRACED City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has agreed to step away from her mayoral duties after making a deal with the State Solicitors Office and Department of Local Government.
Ms Scaffidi tweeted a statement this afternoon confirming the agreement after it was announced this morning the Court of Appeal stayed the operation of the order made by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
The SAT on Monday disqualified Ms Scaffidi from holding office for 18 months after it found she breached the Local Government Act 45 times by not declaring gifts and travel.
Her ban was to come into effect at midnight.
Ms Scaffidi wrote in her statement that she stepped aside in order to put the City of Perth interests before her own.
“I can now advise that, in order to put the interests of the city of Perth before my own, I have agreed in mutual consent with the State Solicitors Office and Department of Local Government not to undertake any of my duties as Lord Mayor pending the outcomes of the appeals,” she wrote.
“Additionally, the Department has agreed that in the event I am successful in my appeals and if the end result is that the disqualification is replaced by a suspension, it would be appropriate that the period of suspension be back-dated to commence today.
“Finally the Court of Appeal also agreed to expedite my appeals and I look forward to them being heard and determined as soon as possible.”
Perth chief executive Martin Mileham said the City had received legal advice that the Lord Mayor remained entitled to the annual allowance as stipulated by the Local Government Act.
“Under the Local Government Act, the Deputy Lord Mayor may fulfill the duties of the Office of the Lord Mayor until a definitive outcome is reached,” Mr Mileham said.
“Throughout this period, the administration will continue to focus on providing services to ratepayers, stakeholders and the community.”
SAT concluded Ms Scaffidi’s breaches of the Local Government Act was due to “gross carelessness”.
It decided it was “not a case of intentional wrongdoing”, despite twice being reminded of her obligations by the chief executive.
However, her forgetfulness “undermined one of the fundamental aspects” of the Local Government Act.
The SAT said Ms Scaffidi had “ample opportunity” to make herself aware of her obligations under the Local Government Act since being elected in 2000.
In May, after the initial guilty verdict was handed down, both Premier Mark McGowan and Opposition Leader Mike Nahan called on her to resign.