City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and Councillor Judy McEvoy ruled to have breached Local Govt Rules of Conduct

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

PERTH Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and Councillor Judy McEvoy breached the Local Government Rules of Conduct for their behaviour during the passage of a no confidence against Perth Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios.

The motion was moved against Cr Limnios at a Perth council meeting on May 17 last year by Cr Janet Davidson and was seconded by Cr McEvoy, shortly after Cr Limnios made public statements critical of the Lord Mayor’s handling of her gift declarations.

When the motion was challenged, the Lord Mayor allowed it as urgent business, breaching Regulation 7(1)(b) of the Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007.

Cr McEvoy was found to have breached the same regulation by seconding the motion, ostensibly moved because Cr Limnios had not attended enough events in place of the Lord Mayor in his capacity as Deputy.

The Local Government Standards Panel ruled that the motion should not have been allowed because it did not meet the requirements of a motion without notice being heard immediately, including the fact it could have been held at the next meeting and its delay would cause no financial detriment to the City.

The Panel also said the Deputy Lord Mayor received no notice of the motion and it constituted a “public rebuke capable of damaging (his) reputation”.

The Panel made their finding on October 31 and made the Lord Mayor and Cr McEvoy aware of the decision in a letter dated January 12.

Cr McEvoy emailed the Panel on January 25 in response denying the breach, leading the Panel to conclude her response “does not show any respect” for the decision.

It was the first time Cr McEvoy had been found to have committed a breach of this nature.

Ms Scaffidi’s response, also sent 25 January, argued that Panel member Cr Paul Kelly had demonstrated bias against her with previous public statements.

The Panel noted at that time Ms Scaffidi had not committed a breach of that nature before but said her response did not respect the decision, nor acknowledge or apologise for the breach.

They also noted Cr Reece Harley said at the May 17 meeting that the motion of no confidence did not follow the “normal process” and that Cr Jemma Green described it as an “ambush”.

The Panel ruled on March 20 that notices of public censure would be published in regards to Ms Scaffidi and Cr McEvoy for their conduct within 43 days at the latest.