Sidelined Liberal MP John Sidoti has tersely insisted he never pushed local councillors to get them onside with planning changes in his Sydney electorate, despite telling one he "was f**ked" without his vote.
The member for Drummoyne, who moved to the crossbench ahead of the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry, was grilled for a third day at an increasingly heated hearing.
Commissioner Peter Hall QC reminded Mr Sidoti several times that he was giving evidence under oath, demanded he stop being argumentative and evasive, and at one point asked Mr Sidoti if he had memory problems.
The inquiry is investigating allegations Mr Sidoti failed to disclose some of his financial interests and between 2011 and 2018 misused his position to influence planning decisions in Five Dock that would benefit his family.
He denies all wrongdoing.
The former NSW sports minister on Thursday agreed he had consistently asked to meet with three Liberal local councillors ahead of any meetings during which the planning reforms in Five Dock were due to be discussed.
Mr Sidoti has been accused of lobbying council to rezone an area to allow for more development on sites owned by his family and friends.
The inquiry on Wednesday heard evidence that Mr Sidoti had at one point emailed the councillors seeking to "form a united stance" ahead of a council meeting, but claimed he meant they should share "discussion, information and feedback".
The councillors had thus far voted against the changes Mr Sidoti desired.
Mr Sidoti again on Thursday denied he met with the councillors to push his preferred outcome.
"Never," Mr Sidoti said.
"It was about coralling them wasn't it?" Commissioner Hall put to him.
"I wouldn't agree," he replied.
Mr Sidoti was then showed an email he sent to one of the councillors - Dr Tanveer Ahmed - after he was informed the Dr Ahmed could not attend an important council meeting.
That meeting was Mr Sidoti's "last chance" to delay proceedings so his family's properties could be including in the rezoning, counsel assisting Rob Ranken said.
"Mate, without you I'm f**ked, we won't have the numbers," the email read.
But Mr Sidoti denied the private email was what it sounded like.
"So much work has been done for the community on this project and failing him voting, there was a possibility that I could look, as a local member, very stupid."
"I'm there to get re-elected at the next election.
"I'd look like an absolute porkchop if he wasn't there."
He also denied a document he'd given the same councillor - an independent - to read out to council in support of the changes was in essence a script.
"You don't see a problem that a grown-up adult, who's elected to the position of councillor, whose solemn duty is to be independent... is being put in a position where he's being provided with what is an effect a script for him to parrot to the council?" Mr Hall said.
"It is completely wrong isn't it?"
"Surely, as a member of public office, you might see doing something like that could be a serious abuse of the democratic process."
"I disagree," Mr Sidoti said.
Earlier in the day Mr Sidoti invited the corruption watchdog to look through his computers for proof he had been lobbied by constituents in favour of the planning changes that would help his family's developments.
Mr Sidoti couldn't remember who made the representations and what they were, but said his office had not passed them on to council.
Mr Sidoti will be questioned for a fourth day when the inquiry resumes on Friday.
Australian Associated Press