City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi disqualified from office

Lisa Scaffidi.
Lisa Scaffidi.

CITY of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has been disqualified from holding office for 18 months for failing to disclose gifts and travel but her lawyer will seek to put a hold on the penalty.

The ban comes into effect on Thursday September 7, meaning Ms Scaffidi remains in her role until then.

The State Administrative Tribunal in May found Ms Scaffidi had breached the Local Government Act 45 times by not disclosing accommodation and travel gifts, including a BHP Billiton-funded $US36,000 package to the Beijing Olympics, which was one of five breaches she admitted.

Ms Scaffidi did not appear at the SAT on Monday when the penalty was handed down but in May she lodged documents with the WA Court of Appeal against the tribunal’s findings.

Her lawyer Steven Penglis told reporters outside the tribunal that he had instructions to apply for a stay of the penalty decision.

“That application will be filed today or tomorrow, and hopefully heard by the Court of Appeal before Thursday,” he said.

“This is a unique situation, it’s one without precedent really, but we’ll wait and see what the Court of Appeal has to say.”

Action was taken in the SAT after omissions in Ms Scaffidi’s 2008-09 annual return were deemed serious misconduct by the Corruption and Crime Commission in 2015.

The tribunal also examined her 2013-14 return at a hearing in February, where she admitted five breaches of the Local Government Act.

The 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 CEO.

However, her forgetfulness “undermined one of the fundamental aspects” of the Local Government Act.

The SAT said Ms Scaffidi has “ample opportunity” to make herself aware of her obligations under the Local Government Act since being elected in 2000.

The decision to disqualify Ms Scaffidi came after months of pressure on the Lord Mayor.

In May, after the initial guilty verdict was handed down, both Premier Mark McGowan and Opposition Leader Mike Nahan called on her to resign.

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