A councillor who snubbed his own political colleague to help controversial Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer get re-elected has been kicked out of the Labor Party.
Auburn councillor Hicham Zraika was expelled from the ALP after an Internal Appeals Tribunal found his conduct disloyal, Fairfax media reports.
Cr Zraika said the expulsion was “silly and harsh and I will certainly be appealing the decision made against me”.
In September a vote was held for the Auburn mayor and deputy mayor positions, with Cr Mehajer putting his name forward to retain his position.
Cr Zraika voted for the mayor position, but then abstained from voting in the deputy mayor ballot.
Cr Mehajer and Labor councillor George Campbell both received four votes each, and the final winner was only decided via lucky dip when Cr Mehajer’s name was drawn from a hat.
At the time of the election, Cr Campbell was quoted saying the behaviour of Cr Zraika breached Labor party rules, the Daily Telegraph reports.
“The office of local government might have something to say about someone who flees the scene midway through a vote,” Cr Campbell said.
The re-election of Cr Mehajer’s deputy mayor caused controversy after his involvement in several scandals.
He is perhaps the most high-profile deputy mayor in Australia after closing a busy street to throw his own lavish wedding in August.
Cr Mehajer has also been the focus of wide-spread media coverage after charges of driving an unregistered Ferrari and pleading not guilty to the intimidation of the father of a Martin Place siege survivor.