Suspended Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has told an inquiry it was a coincidence a city chief executive was axed after she learnt he had referred her to the Corruption and Crime Commission.
Ms Scaffidi admitted her relationship with CEO Gary Stevenson was "unpleasant" and his "veiled threats" to go to the CCC had become a reality, but she denied that prompted her to push for his ousting in January 2016.
"The timing is a coincidence," she testified at the inquiry into the City of Perth on Wednesday.
Ms Scaffidi conceded Mr Stevenson had no notice his contract was being terminated.
Counsel assisting the commissioner Kate Ellson said Mr Stevenson was shattered, but Ms Scaffidi described him as disappointed.
"It was not a good working relationship for the City of Perth," Ms Scaffidi said.
Repeatedly asked whether she had wanted to terminate his employment, Ms Scaffidi finally admitted she did.
She rejected the suggestion she had taken a shortcut or been in a hurry to hold the special council meeting without any governance staff present, but conceded it was wrong not to inform them.
The inquiry heard there was no formal record of the meeting and the minutes were taken by Ms Scaffidi's personal assistant.
Ms Scaffidi also accepted she was in breach of the council code of conduct regarding her treatment of fellow councillors Reece Harley and Jemma Green.
During her testimony, Commissioner Tony Power was again forced to warn Ms Scaffidi about her evidence.
"Please avoid commentary on the questions," he said.
"I have explained this to you before, more than once."
Ms Scaffidi said she was doing her best but felt she had not been allowed to give her evidence.
She was not asked about her financial interest in the Grand Central Hotel, as Ms Ellson flagged during her opening address earlier this week, so it is likely Ms Scaffidi will be recalled at a later date.
The inquiry was launched following a failure by Ms Scaffidi to disclose travel and gifts, reports of infighting between councillors, two CEOs taking stress leave and the suspension of the council in March 2018.
Ms Scaffidi previously indicated in a cryptic social media post that she would not return to the job.
Australian Associated Press