Ethics Committee warns Regev over Gafsou-centered meeting

C'tee says meeting on mayor-bureaucrat relations should not have focused solely on Upper Nazareth mayor.

December 17, 2013 17:59
1 minute read.
Miri Regev at the Knesset Interior and Environmental Affairs Committees, April 17, 2013.

Miri Regev 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Knesset)

Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) behaved unethically, the Knesset Ethics Committee determined on Tuesday, in calling a meeting to berate a bureaucrat for reporting her political ally, Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gafsou, for alleged corruption.

The Ethics Committee did not punish Regev, giving her only a warning because it was her first offense.

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Last month, Regev invited Gafsou – who is on trial for fraud, bribery and other financial crimes – and his municipality’s legal adviser, Olga Gordon, who reported him to the authorities, to a committee meeting on “work relations between the elected officials and bureaucrats in municipalities.”

Gafsou, a Likud member for whom Regev campaigned in last month’s municipal election, was the only mayor invited to the meeting, most of which the committee chairwoman spent chastising Gordon.

The Ethics Committee said that, while Regev did the right thing holding a meeting on general mayor-bureaucrat relations, she was wrong to focus it only on Gafsou, as the committee does not have the tools to judge the specific incident.

The panel also called for all Knesset committee chairs to be balanced in inviting people to and presiding over hearings.

Regev threw MKs Miki Rosenthal (Labor), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) out of the last month’s meeting for loudly protesting, but her complaint against them was rejected by the Ethics Committee.

“Indignation by MKs who attended the hearing was justified, and from there, the road to a riot was short,” the Ethics Committee wrote in its decision.

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