'The worst time of my life': Scaffidi breaks down in tears at new expenses hearing

 abc.net.au  2/13/2018 4:00:39 AM   Irena Ceranic

Updated February 13, 2018 15:42:19

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has broken down in tears as she gave evidence at a hearing that will determine whether she is suspended or disqualified from WA's top council job.

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) hearing is set to decide on a penalty for her 19 breaches of the Local Government Act which relate to a long-running expenses scandal worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The SAT originally found that Mrs Scaffidi breached the act 45 times by failing to properly declare gifts and travel, and she was handed an 18-month disqualification from public office.

But the Court of Appeal overturned 26 of the 45 breaches, paving the way for her to return to her duties last month.

The current hearing is determining her penalty for the remaining 19 breaches.

Mrs Scaffidi wiped away tears as she described media reports over the past few years that suggested she acted corruptly by not disclosing gifts properly.

"It was a very tumultuous time, the worst time of my life," she said.

"It's been a very emotional ride."

The lawyer acting for the Department of Local Government and Communities, Carolyn Thatcher, has quizzed Mrs Scaffidi about whether she now understands the requirements for disclosing gifts properly.

Mrs Scaffidi has repeatedly told the tribunal she has "come a long way" in her understanding of the requirements.

"These days I'm disclosing everything … and making sure I leave no room for interpretation," she said.

Mrs Scaffidi returned to her mayoral duties in January after standing aside for four months.

The hearing continues.

Topics: local-government, courts-and-trials, perth-6000

First posted February 13, 2018 15:00:39

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