Zelekha accuses Civil Service chief of serving Olmert

Hollander tells interviewer he should have invited a psychologist to the studio instead of him to inquire about Zelekha's allegations.

September 11, 2007 00:39
2 minute read.
olmert shakes hands with accountant general Zelekh

olmert Zelekha 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Finance Ministry Accountant-General Yoram Zelekha complained to police on Monday that Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander tried to fix a tender for the job of deputy accountant-general for a favorite of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. According to Zelekha's lawyer, Boaz Ben-Tzur, Hollander also tried to close a disciplinary file against the same candidate, Adi Rivlin. Rivlin did not win the tender. His disciplinary case is still pending. In response to Zelekha's allegations, Hollander told an Army Radio interviewer that he should have invited a psychologist to the studio instead of him to inquire about Zelekha's allegations. Ben-Tzur retorted that "Hollander would be better off not indulging in psychiatric matters when in the area for which he is responsible there are so many errors." Rivlin applied for the No. 2 position in the Accountant-General's Office. According to Hollander's version of the story, Zelekha insisted on sitting on the tender committee. Hollander objected on the grounds that Zelekha was prejudiced against Rivlin and that the relations between the two were problematic. "[I felt] he could not participate in the tender without being prejudiced and the regulations explicitly state that a member of the tender committee must not be biased and must observe the laws of honesty and fairness," said Hollander. "So I called Yaron Zelekha and said, 'Yaron, my friend, listen, we have a problem. You can't sit on the committee because [of your attitude.]' And then he started shouting and insulting me." After the conversation, Hollander asked Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz for his opinion. According to Hollander, Mazuz agreed with him. Mazuz's spokesman, Moshe Cohen, confirmed that after discussing the matter with Hollander and Zelekha, "it was agreed that Zelekha would not participate in the tender because of the mutual complaints between him and Rivlin." Cohen said Zelekha's place was taken by another Treasury official. Ben-Tzur, however, insisted that "Hollander tried to improperly intervene in the tender and its terms by changing the participants in the committee." Regarding the disciplinary case against Rivlin, Hollander said he was responsible for the disciplinary charges against Rivlin. But according to Ben-Tzur, it was true that Hollander was ultimately responsible, but earlier, he had tried to close the case. Interviewed earlier in the day by Israel Radio, Rivlin said that Zelekha had tried to have him fired from his job in the Accountant-General's Office because he wanted to steal the glory for a reform plan that Rivlin had devised and because Rivlin had complained that Zelekha tailor-made job tenders for people of his choice. Police confirmed that the National Fraud Squad had received a faxed letter of complaint from Zelekha in which he stated his allegations against Hollander. The complaint was almost immediately passed for review to Intelligence and Investigations Division head Cmdr. Yohanan Danino. Zelekha also submitted documents alleging that Hollander had worked to influence a government grant to benefit cronies of Olmert and had pushed for the appointment of Rivlin to the No. 2 in the Accountant-General's Office to reduce Zelekha's own anticorruption influence. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this story.

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