Shimon Gapso 311.
(photo credit: Courtesty)
The Movement for Quality of Government in Israel on Thursday filed a petition
with the High Court of Justice to fire Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso due to
his having been indicted for bribery, fraud and other financial
The petition asks that the court blacklist Gapso from running for
reelection in the upcoming fall municipal election, as long as he is under
The filing follows the recent dethroning of Ramat Gan Mayor
Zvi Bar who, under pressure from a similar High Court petition, dropped out of
the race for reelection, essentially meaning his 24-year reign will end in three
Also named as respondents to the petition were the City Council
of Upper Nazareth and an Interior Ministry official responsible for that part of
the country because both have potential roles in removing Gapso.
the petition says that Gapso’s removal is justified since the accusations
against him involve bribery specifically related to his alleged abuse of power
as a public official.
The petition said that Gapso’s acts were grossly
and inherently harmful to public confidence in public servants and public
institutions, and that to maintain that confidence, he needed to be
Gapso was indicted on June 17 for bribery, fraud,
election-related bribery and breach of public trust.
According to the
indictment, in 2008, Gapso, and another indicted City Council member, Adi Barko,
conditioned the approval of a financial transaction on the resignation of
another council member.
The indictment said that this kind of blackmail
qualified as a “bribe.”
Gapso accepted actual financial bribes from the
head of the Ramle-Lod market in order that they grant the person’s company
certain privileges, said the indictment.
Next, the indictment said that
Gapso bribed various persons to support his election by promising them jobs with
the municipality after his nomination, and had executed a secret coalition
agreement with another local party, breaking laws against secret
Attorney Nidal Hiyak of the Movement said that, “the rays of
severe criminal suspicion against Mr. Gapso, reduce the public’s confidence in
the Upper Nazareth’s Municipality’s institutions and in public service in
general.” He continued, “the continuing of Mr. Gapso in the role of mayor will
lead to a noticeable erosion of the public’s confidence.”