Was it a fund-raiser or was it a campaign meeting? That is the question.
Councillor Eddy Sarkis did not attend a Holroyd Council meeting last night.
He hosted a function at a restaurant in Merrylands.
The function was interrupted at about 8pm when councillor Gregg Ritchie and Cr Sarkis came to blows.
Cr Ritchie and mayor Yvette Witfield have called the function a fund-raiser for Cr Sarkis’s re-election campaign.
But Cr Sarkis has strongly denied the claim.‘‘It was a campaign meeting with family and friends,’’ he said.
‘‘I had my six booth captains, my wife, cousins, my dad, two sisters and a couple of other friends and family . . . I paid for the whole thing, there was no fees involved.
‘‘We talked about what we were going to be doing on election day, how many people at what booths.
’’Other councillors claimed Cr Sarkis charged some people in attendance, including developers, $950 to attend the function.
Cr Gregg Ritchie said he wanted to know what type of function was being held and went to the centre.
‘‘We walked into the party and took a photo and they wrestled me to try and get the camera off me,’’ he said.
‘‘The whole mob just attacked me. I fell down the stairs and I bruised my hip’’.
The incident was reported to police but neither councillor has pursued charges.
Cr Sarkis’s told the Sun that he did not attend the council meeting because the mayor had told him five weeks ago that there would be no meeting on September 4.
Mayor Yvette Whitfield denied that account of events.
‘‘No I did not (tell Cr Sarkis there was no meeting) and he would have got the business papers sent to him on the Friday before,’’ she said.
‘‘Eddy Sarkis put his apologies in because he was sick but apparently he held a fund-raiser.’’Cr Mark Pigram left a comment on The Sun’s answering service today:
‘‘G’day Callan it’s Mark Pigram here mate . . . I just want to give an update on other matters around that clown Paul (sic Gregg) Ritchie.‘‘
(Sun reporter Isabell Petrinic) went with Gregg Ritchie to invade a fund-raiser for Eddy Sarkis last night.‘‘If you could get back to me I’d appreciate it."
When the Sun called back, Cr Pigram denied the function was a fund-raiser.He said he was of the understanding it was ‘‘a get-together of Eddy’s campaign. Nothing more, nothing less’’.
Cr Pigram’s son Ryan is running on the same ticket as Cr Sarkis in Saturday’s election.
Cr Pigram said he was not at the council meeting on Tuesday night because ‘‘I have blood blisters on my feet from walking the streets of North Ward hearing from dissatisfied residents’’.
Fairfield councillor Sam Yousif said he attended the function.‘‘It was all family and friends,’’ he said.
‘‘Eddy Sarkis’s meeting was for campaign management.’’