Report: Zelekha considers resigning

Finance Ministry Accountant-General was saved from termination last month by comptroller Lindenstrauss.

YARON Zelekha 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
YARON Zelekha 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Finance Ministry Accountant General Yaron Zelekha is considering resigning, Channel Two quoted sources close to him as saying, Friday morning. Last month Zelekha requested State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to issue a temporary order freezing Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On's decision not to extend the accountant-general's term on the grounds that he was a whistleblower and should therefore be allowed to remain in duty. Zelekha was the government official who first raised suspicions of foul play in the tender for the sale of the government's controlling share of Bank Leumi. According to the accountant-general, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert allegedly tried to tilt the tender during his tenure as finance minister in 2005 in favor of a personal friend, Australian businessman Frank Lowy. A police investigation in the case recently ended with Olmert being the last witness questioned, but no recommendations to press charges have yet been made. But while the accountant-general has won the protection of Lindenstaruss and praise of MKs such as Labor's Shelly Yacimovich, he has also managed to make some powerful enemies, even outside the context of his whistle-blowing activities. In a radio interview, Zelekha called Attorney General Menahem Mazuz a "weak person," this despite the fact that after he complained about Olmert, attempts to fire him failed, until Mazuz finally made it clear he would not allow it, if only for the fact that people might suspect he was being dismissed because of the Bank Leumi affair. Zelekha also lost much-needed support inside the Finance Ministry, when Treasury director-general Yarom Ariav, charged that "Zelekha causes substantial damage to the proper functioning of the government system in general and the Finance Ministry in particular." Ariav and others in the ministry complained in October that since Lindenstrauss's order, atmosphere in the ministry soured and employees were feeling threatened by Zelekha to the point that working with him became almost impossible. Dan Izenberg contributed to this report.