Labor lawmaker battles corrupt mayors

Bill proposed by MK Moshe Mizrahi will require mayors indicted for crimes to suspend themselves.

June 27, 2013 23:24
1 minute read.
Moshe Mizrahi

Moshe Mizrahi 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Mayors who are indicted for crimes will have to suspend themselves from their position if a bill by MK Moshe Mizrahi (Labor) is passed.

Mizrahi submitted the legislation – drafted with the help of the good-governance NGO Movement for Quality Government – earlier this week in an effort to fight corruption in municipalities.

According to the bill, a mayor or his deputy will have to take a leave of absence if he or she is indicted. The legislation also sets a maximum time-frame for the trial of an elected official who suspended him or herself. The current law states that a mayor’s term ends if he or she is convicted of a crime.

“We all know the famous legal principle that people are innocent until they are proven guilty, but we must be more strict with elected officials, and when they are indicted, they should take an immediate leave of absence,” Mizrahi explained.

The Labor MK added that his bill is meant to minimize the possibility of mayors using their position to try to influence the outcome of their trials, and to stop municipality workers from fearing they will lose their jobs if they testify against the mayor.

In addition, Mizrahi hopes the legislation will prevent trials from being too long and drawn-out.

Mizrahi’s bill is signed mostly by Labor and Meretz MKs, but two coalition lawmakers, MKs Elazar Stern (Hatnua) and Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), co-sponsored the legislation.

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