by Joel Gould
MAYOR Paul Pisasale has been quizzed at the CCC public hearing and asked to shed light on processing of payments for his campaign expenses, as they relate to his daughter Lisa's company Zimmi Group.
Cr Pisasale said he functioned as a busy mayor up until the 2016 election and asked his daughter Lisa to run his campaign through her company Zimmi Group on a professional basis.
"She purchased a lot campaign material for the campaign and in the first instance she arranged for suppliers to invoice her company Zimmi Group," counsel assisting the CCC, Glen Rice, said.
"Her company would prepare an invoice from Zimmi Group to your campaign fund. That's how it worked?"
Cr Pisasale answered: "Yes."
The mayor confirmed he had staff who organised the payments of invoices to Zimmi Group and said he removed himself from that process.
Mr Rice then showed Cr Pisasale what he said were three invoices from Zimmi Group which had supplier invoices stapled to them. Cr Pisasale confirmed he had not seen the invoices until today.
Mr Rice then asked Cr Pisasale whether he was aware that the invoices from Zimmi Group to his campaign showed "a significant markup in the cost of the service as invoiced to Zimmi Group".
Cr Pisasale responded: "That markup is her wages and her costs in delivering it."
"She stopped her company work and I employed her full-time, so she was operating under the same rules as she runs her company."
Mr Rice then asked if Ms Pisasale billed the campaign for hours of work, to which he replied that what she billed in no way reflected the hours she put in.
Cr Pisasale added that the markup was "normal company practice".
"I told her to use full commercial principles because I didn't want any favours and I didn't want her company or herself to miss out," he said.
Mr Rice later said to Cr Pisasale that a preliminary analysis of $108,000 worth of campaign expenses "shows a markup by Zimmi Group to your mayoral campaign of about $32,000."
Cr Pisasale said the figure, less than a third of the total, was normal business practice.
"I am sure I got value for money, with 85 % (of the vote)," he quipped.