Perrottet defends candidate employed by suspended MP

Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended his candidate in the Sydney seat of Drummoyne who has worked for suspended former Liberal MP John Sidoti for the past eight months despite corruption findings against him by the ICAC.

Stephanie Di Pasqua is the deputy mayor of Canada Bay and still works for Sidoti, but has been on leave since she was preselected in January. The Independent Commission Against Corruption made findings of serious corrupt conduct in July and Sidoti was suspended from Parliament in August.

Sidoti was a popular local MP who maintained a healthy 13.6 per cent margin at the last election. Campaigning in Five Dock on Thursday, Di Pasqua confirmed she was still in Sidoti’s employ as an electorate officer.

“I’m currently on leave from the office and I’ve been on leave since I was preselected,” she said.

Asked why she continued to work for him after the ICAC’s findings, she said: “My focus is on community. I think staffing is a really rewarding role. You’re there to help the community.”

Perrottet said Di Pasqua’s role as an electorate officer meant she was serving voters, and she was focused on the future.

“Stephanie worked as an electorate officer looking after the people of Drummoyne. That’s what electorate officers do every single day and that’s what Steph has done in her time as an electorate officer here in Drummoyne, delivering for her local community,” he said.

Following the ICAC’s findings in July, Sidoti vowed to clear his name and threatened to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court. He also threatened to run for Drummoyne as an independent, but relinquished on both counts.

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