State Comptroller Joseph Shapira.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira sounded a dark warning to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday, saying his office’s independence was under political attack, as he handed over his report on environmental and construction safety and corruption issues.
“It is our obligation to the public to warn of the intent to harm the gatekeepers, including the Office of the State Comptroller,” he said at the ceremonial delivery of the report.
He also expressed his gratitude to incoming Knesset State Control Committee chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich for “sending a clear and unambiguous signal on this issue and for committing” to fight any attempts “to reduce the jurisdiction... independence and constitutional status” of his office.
Various Knesset members have proposed reducing the comptroller’s authority after a number of reports that criticized government policy and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Until producing reports leading into the 2015 election that highlighted alleged corruption by the Netanyahu family, Shapira had been considered softer than some predecessors and sympathetic to and on good terms with the prime minister