In her submissions to the Department of Local Government, Scaffidi incredibly tried to claim that it was ‘not in the public interest’ to pursue disciplinary action against her. Ironically, her argument served only to further highlight the utter contempt she has shown towards the public in this matter.
Paragraph 28 of the Department of Local Government report introduces us to Scaffidi’s ‘public interest’ defence. From there, paragraph 32 expands on Scaffidi’s slop, which is worth reading for entertainment value alone. As you’ll see, The Marcus Review just couldn’t help itself in providing some commentary along the way:
- Mayor Scaffidi’s non-disclosure was inadvertent and due to “manifestly inadequate systems.”
(TMR: that didn’t stop Scaffidi doing the right thing 79 out of 112 times. How can any ‘system’ prevent disclosure of personal benefits? Was there an obstacle course in the way that she bravely made it through 79 times? That aside, even if the systems were inadequate then, as Lord Mayor, she would largely be responsible).
- All travel (with the exception of the Australian Press Council) was undertaken in her official capacity as Lord Mayor of the City and solely for the advancement of the City.
(TMR: the benefits received were personal and, in any event, were not disclosed as required under legislation. Compliance with the law is not optional. That aside, are we supposed to simply ignore the Australian Press Council related travel in this context?).
- The dedication of Mayor Scaffidi to her role as Lord Mayor of the City and contribution to the changing economic, social and cultural landscape of Perth;
(TMR: this is simply a ‘do you know who I am – I’m special!’ argument and nothing short of nonsense).
- On most travel occasions in her official capacity, Mayor Scaffidi provided “consideration” in the giving of speeches, attendance at official functions, meetings and extensive networking.
(TMR: the benefits received were personal and, in any event, not disclosed as required under legislation. Compliance with the law is not optional and doesn’t hinge on whether ‘consideration’ is given. That aside, Scaffidi isn’t exactly Bill Clinton when it comes to the market value of her speeches and attendances.
- The Corruption and Crime Commission (“CCC”) report covered substantially similar matters and made no findings of corruption.
(TMR: among other things, the CCC made findings of ‘serious misconduct’. Is everyone supposed to ignore this? That aside, this latest report has uncovered further matters – to the tune of 45 allegations).
- The reputational, emotional and financial damage caused by the investigation surrounding the CCC report and the inquiry by the Department.
(TMR: reputational and emotional damage tends to occur when you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar. It has nothing to do with ‘public interest’ considerations and is pure nonsense).
- Actual or potential breaches of the Act by other elected members and City staff during the same period and under the same environment of “systemic failures” surrounding disclosure requirements in the City.
(TMR: other people’s actions are irrelevant to this matter and any public interest argument. This is an offshoot of the Nurenberg Defence – i.e. claiming that ‘everybody else was doing it’. See also the first bullet point above).
- Mayor Scaffidi has made repeated public apologies in respect of the issues.
(TMR: these are admissions of guilt and provide further public interest reasons for disciplinary action – not less).
- The majority of the travel undertaken was endorsed by the Council.
(TMR: this is irrelevant. The benefits received were not authorised by the Council – for the simple reason that they were not disclosed as required under legislation. If your boss sends you on a (legitimate) business trip to visit a supplier, it doesn’t magically authorise you to accept personal benefits, gifts or bribes from that supplier and not tell your boss about it).
How could Scaffidi make such absurd arguments with a straight face? What a disgrace. Disciplinary action can’t come soon enough for this grub.