Mayors indicted for corruption to be suspended

Interior Ministry-submitted bill calls for the formation of a committee that can decide to suspend mayors following their indictment.

By
December 18, 2013 20:50
1 minute read.
The Knesset.

Knesset 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

A bill suspending mayors who are indicted on corruption charges became law on Wednesday, after the Knesset unanimously approved its in its final reading.

The Interior Ministry-submitted bill calls for the formation of a committee that can decide to suspend mayors following their indictment.

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Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni appointed retired judge Moshe Gal to head the committee, which also includes former Tel Aviv district attorney Miriam Rosenthal and former Yeroham mayor Motti Avisror.

Referring to a High Court of Justice ruling that suspended Mayors Shimon Gafsou of Upper Nazareth, Shlomo Lahiani of Bat Yam and Yitzhak Rochberger of Ramat Hasharon, but allowed them to run, successfully, for reelection in October, Sa’ar said “a chaotic situation was created, not just in those cities, but at a normative level.”

The rulings “created tension between a person’s right to be elected and doubt that that person can serve in the position,” he added. “This law will ensure the ability to deal in the best way possible with these cases while maintaining the public’s trust.”

Although lawmakers withdrew all proposed amendments to the bill, MK Miki Rosenthal (Labor) insisted that the committee’s meetings be transparent.

In the Knesset Interior Committee last week, Sa’ar said too much transparency would prevent its members from speaking openly. In the end, the Interior Committee decided that the panel would publicize its conclusions and its reasoning.


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