Gilboa Council head suspected of fraud, detained by police

Gilboa Council head susp

On the heels of the arrest of Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, police on Wednesday launched a second raid on a municipality this week, detaining Gilboa Regional Council head Danny Atar on suspicion of fraud and violation of public office. Atar was taken in for questioning, together with five additional municipal workers suspected of fraudulently receiving goods to the detriment of the public, police said. The Lahav 433 Unit and the National Serious and International Crimes Unit led an undercover investigation into Atar over the past few months, following suspicions of foul play raised by State Comptroller Micha Lindendstrauss. "The raids were connected to a check carried out by the State Comptroller, but not to a published report," a police source told The Jerusalem Post. Police have so far refrained from detailing the specific suspicions hanging over Atar. In a report published this year, Lindenstrauss said Atar ran his elections campaign account in a manner which "was incompatible with instructions given by the State Comptroller. The candidate did not include polling expenses (worth NIS 5,775) in his accounts, and did not report a donation in the form of an ad placed for his benefit by committees in the council." The sum total of Atar's local elections expenses stand at NIS 639,095, the report noted. The undercover police investigation began on the order of state prosecutors, who were responding to the State Comptroller's report, police said in a statement. The Gilboa Regional Council said it was fully cooperating with police, adding that it had nothing to hide.