EMBATTLED Wangaratta mayor Rozi Parisotto was abused twice in the hours after the dramatic meeting at which chief executive Doug Sharp and four other senior staffers left the council.
The separate incidents involving former councillor Lauren McCully and former mayor Roberto Paino’s wife Meg, took place after the election forum, also held in Wangaratta last Thursday.
Jill McGillivray, a former media advisor for retired Murray Valley MP Ken Jasper, said she was with Cr Parisotto when the two incidents occurred.
Mrs McCully and Mrs Paino both confirmed yesterday they had spoken to the mayor in a forceful manner.
“I said to her ‘I hope you can sleep well at night knowing you have possibly ruined five good people’s careers’,” Mrs McCully said.
“It is exactly what I said and I would say it again.”
Mrs Paino said she spotted Cr Parisotto after the forum and tapped her on the arm.
“I leant over to her and said ‘I hope you can sleep with your conscience after this little act tonight’ and walked away,” Mrs Paino said.
“Emotions were running high and I think it is absolutely disgusting what has happened.”
Cr Parisotto joined Mrs McGillivray at the Indi candidates forum after confirming at the end of an 80-minute closed council meeting that Mr Sharp, Ray Park, Ruth Tai, Andrew Close and Graham Nickless had mutually agreed to leave the council.
Mrs McGilivray was shocked by the comments directed at Cr Parisotto.
“It was just horrible,” she said.
“It was so aggressive in the way it was done and wasn’t necessary.
“We weren’t even discussing the council and what had happened.
“We were discussing the forum.”
Mrs McGillivray, who worked in Mr Jasper’s office for 13 years, said former councillors including Mrs McCully, Roberto Paino, Doug McPhie and Anthony Griffiths had to accept the election result and move on.
She said Cr Parisotto was being “remarkably” resilient throughout the crisis and decided to speak out in support of her.
“I don’t think the council has had a fair go since it was elected,” Mrs McGillivray said.
“It reads as though it was a decision that was made mutually.
“They weren’t sacked.
“I haven’t got anything against the former council management team, but I just wonder how people like former councillors and mayors know exactly what is happening.”
Cr Parisotto couldn’t be contacted for comment.