Civil Service Tribunal meets on Eshel plea bargain

In plea agreement, Eshel agreed to admit charges of breaching civil service discipline, unbecoming conduct.

Nathan Eshel 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Nathan Eshel 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Civil Service Disciplinary Tribunal convened a hearing on Thursday regarding the plea bargain former Prime Minister’s Office chief of staff Natan Eshel’s lawyers brokered last month.
In the plea agreement, Eshel agreed to admit to charges of breaching civil service discipline and conduct unbecoming to a civil service employee.
A spokesman for the Civil Service Commission said that the tribunal had been asked to confirm the plea bargain reached between the prosecution and Eshel’s counsel.
During the hearing, both sides put forward their arguments relating to the matter, and the tribunal is expected to make a decision in the next few days as to whether it accepts the arrangement, the spokesman added.
Under the deal Eshel’s lawyers reached with the plaintiff, he agreed to accept a punishment consisting of a severe reprimand for his conduct.
Eshel also agreed to resign from his post on March 1, and not to return to the civil service.
During the hearing, both Civil Service representatives and Eshel’s counsel noted the role of the media in promoting the affair.
Eshel’s attorney Jacob Weinroth complained of a “media hell,” and said that Eshel was punished not by the legal authorities but by the shame the media had conferred on him.
According to the complaint filed to the Civil Service Disciplinary Tribunal with the agreement of both sides, Eshel is accused of forming a close relationship with “R.,” which was both inappropriate and unacceptable because of his superior civil service rank.
Eshel also admitted to intruding on R.’s privacy by logging onto her computer without her permission and by giving personal and private information about R. to various people in the Prime Minister's Office without there being any professional reason for him to do so. Eshel also intruded on R.’s privacy by taking photographs of her at various social events.