A PROBE into alleged corruption at the City of Perth led to a former chief executive taking stress leave, an inquiry has heard.
Project Percy was an investigation by a law firm in late 2017 and early 2018 into “serious allegations” made about then-CEO Martin Mileham and the lord mayor, although there were no findings of misconduct.
The report was delivered on January 29, 2018 and a few days later another law firm was asked to review the process, an inquiry into the City of Perth heard on Monday.
Mr Mileham took stress leave one week later, counsel assisting the commissioner Cheyne Beetham said.
Director of corporate services Robert Mianich became the acting CEO but a week later also took medical leave.
Beforehand, Mr Mianich lodged complaints regarding councillor Reece Harley and deputy lord mayor Jemma Green, and notified councillor James Limnios that “aspects of his behaviour were inappropriate”, Mr Beetham said.
The complaints against Dr Green were subsequently dismissed.
Two days later, those three councillors as well as two others signed a motion requesting a special meeting to vote on amending the council policy for appointing an acting CEO.
Mr Beetham said the inquiry would examine the necessity and timing of that decision.
On the day of the special council meeting, the executive enacted the “crisis management plan”, which Mr Beetham described as an “unprecedented step”.
The inquiry will examine what the crisis was and whether the plan was driven by ulterior motives.
It will later examine the obligations for councillors to disclose financial and other interests related to sponsorship applications and the funding of the Perth Public Arts Foundation.
The inquiry was launched following a failure by suspended Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to disclose travel and gifts, reports of infighting between councillors, the two CEOs taking stress leave and the suspension of the council in March 2018.