Top official in comptroller’s office accuses Shapira of ethical conflict

Shapira calls accuser ‘a liar’ and ‘a bad apple’.

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370 (photo credit: Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370
(photo credit: Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The deputy director-general for administration in the State Comptroller’s Office, Shmuel Yonas, has accused his boss, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira, and other aids of granting commercial tenders to parties amid conflicts of interest.
Shapira and others responded by calling Yonas “a liar” and “a bad apple,” Army Radio reported Sunday.
The comptroller’s spokesman had not responded to requests for comment by press time and Yonas also reportedly was not responding to the press.
The report indicated that in light of the controversy between Shapira and Yonas, Shapira had ordered that the issues in controversy be removed from Yonas’s authority.
However, Yonas refused Shapira’s order, arguing that Shapira does not have the authority to fire him, said the report.
The report indicated that Yonas’s proof of Shapira’s alleged problematic acts included statements from one of the managers of one of the companies that was granted a tender to build a building for Shapira connecting the manager and Shapira as friends.
Yonas also attacked the tender because a second company that was granted the tender for overseeing the building by the first company turned out to be a subsidiary of the first company, creating another conflict of interest in the deal, said Army Radio.
Next, noted the report, Yonas threatened to hire outside counsel if his reservations with the tender were not fully investigated.
The report said that Shapira rejected Yonas’s accusations, stating that he had not dealt with the manager in question for around 20 years and that it was known throughout the State Comptroller’s Office that Yonas was a troublemaker and “a liar” who tries to secretly tape-record telephone conversations with others in spite of ethical rules to the contrary.
Shapira added that Yonas had told him that the project in question was fine and moving forward ahead of schedule only two weeks ago, only to reverse himself “suddenly and say everything is not fine,” said the report.
Reportedly, an anonymous letter recently circulated within the office lambasting Yonas, and earlier Sunday former senior comptroller adviser Meir Gilboa told Army Radio that for years people have known that Yonas was a “bad apple,” but that also it was time for there to be real oversight over the comptroller.