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Half of the County Council presidents are accused of corruption!

Half of the County Council presidents are accused of corruption!

In December it was Titu Bojin’s turn to face the anti-corruption prosecutors. He was the President of the Timis County Council. Let’s note he was taken over by the special forces and brought to the National Anti-corruption (DNA) offices in Bucharest. County counsellor Marcel Motoc accompanied him, for the same accusation of taking bribe and abuse of office. According to the DNA prosecutors the two worked in close relations with a company trading tools and wrenches which obtained several dubious contracts with state institutions coordinated by Bojin. The manager of the company (Ecomet West SRL) was also heard by the prosecutors. Bojin is a social-democrat party member.

Drawing the line, we find out that 18 out of the 41 county council presidents in Romania are under investigation under various charges related to corruption deeds.

Mircea Molot (National Liberal party – PNL) was the Hunedoara County Council President. He is under DNA investigation for abuse of office in favour of people close to him during the execution of contracts concluded with the county council. On December 8 the Alba Iulia Appeal Court ruled to investigate Mircea Molot under house arrest. The prejudice caused by Molot amounts to RON 10 million (approx. EUR 2.2 million).

Aristotel Cancescu (PNL) Brasov County Council President is under arrest for bribe taking, influence peddling and instigation to abuse of office. He is accused of favouring two companies (Ramb System – manager Gabriel Bigiu and Gotic – manager Ion Dinita, Conservative Party MP, also under investigation). The prejudice amounts to EUR 7.6 million.

Paul Stanescu (Social-Democratic Party PSD) is involved in the ‘Referendum file’. The Olt County Council President (in office since 2008) is also under investigation of DNA Craiova for the way the council financed the football team FC Olt Slatina.

Adrian Duicu (PSD) is under house arrest. The suspended president of the Mehedinti County Council was released from prison and sent to house arrest by the end of July 2014. He had been accused of influence peddling and bribe giving.

Cristinel Bigiu (PSD, former member of PNL) – Buzau County Council President, arrested for bribe taking. According to the DNA, Bigiu requested Dragos Cojocea, the Director of the Development Department, to find out which companies are ready to sign, fictively, projects of up to RON 400,000 that were to pay paid with public money. The amount was to be split between the artisans of this financial scheme. The DNA prosecutors caught Bigiu when taking bribe.

Mircea Cosma (PSD) – Prahova County Council President, under investigation for corruption, is to be tried by the Supreme Court together with his son Vlad Cosma for corruption, influence peddling and bribe taking. The investigation revealed an entire scheme of auctions through which public money from the Prahova County budget were directed to the Cosma family and to county interlopers.

Nicusor Constantinescu (PSD) – Constanta County Council President. He is investigated (under house arrest, being released from prison in December) in two files under judiciary control. The first one regards the lack of financing for the Regional Military Centre. The second file involves his insubordination to the Court of Accounts control.

Silviu Ciuperca (PSD) – Ialomita County Council President. He is under the DNA investigation for illegal retrocession of more than 500 hectares of arable land from the county council property. It is about illegal documents with preferential contracts issued during 2014. Ciuperca has not been officially accused yet, as DNA is investigating the deeds for the moment, further on the investigation is to be extended to persons.

Raducu Filipescu (PNL) Calarasi County Council President. He was targeted by the National Integrity Agency (ANI) in 2011. He is accused of spending RON 1 million of public money for several associations run by him or where he was a member. ANI notified the Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation is underway.

Bunea Stancu (PSD) – Braila County Council President. He was dismissed from office by the county Prefect in November 2014. He lost the action at law at the Supreme Court, after being sued by ANI for signing association contracts with two sporting clubs where he is the majority shareholder.

Ion Prioteasa (PSD) – Dolj County Council President. He is accused by the DNA prosecutors for corruption deeds using EU money. Prioteasa, together with seven public servants with the county council, approved and signed unjustified payments to companies which were allotted works outside the legal framework. The file is under the DNA investigation.

Marian Oprisan (PSD) – Vrancea County Council President. He is the main accused in a corruption file, in court for more than eight and a half years. Oprisan was accused in 2006 for abuse of office, public money embezzlement, forgery and use of forgery – the prejudice amounting to EUR 1.5 million. Oprisan and the other accused allegedly received in 2004 money from the former Adrian Nastase government to pave 41 communal roads. The contracts were handed to companies close to Oprisan. The roads were either poorly paved or not paved at all.

Catalin Nechifor (PSD) – Suceava County Council President. He is involved in the illegal retrocession files in the same case as MP Viorel Hrebenciuc. The prosecutors claim the two negotiated the acquisition of a mansion belonging to Prince Paltin Sturdza for which intended to use public money.

Dragos Benea (PSD) – Bacau County Council President. On July 17, 2014 the anti-corruption prosecutors raided the Bacau County Council offices as well as Benea’s villa. Benea was taken for hearings under suspicion of corruption deeds during 2005-2012. The investigation is focused on the allotment of huge amounts of public money to city halls in his administrative region, on the decisions of the county council. No official charges were filed against Benea yet.

Florin Turcanu (PNL) – Botosani County Council President. He was accused of forgery and sent to court in 2011. In June-July 2009, while being PNL Botosani president, he issued false documents to oust several party members. They were running for elections, while the false documents were meant to put them out of the competition, so that his favourites could run instead. In March 2014 he received a six-month suspended sentence and two and a half years in prison. The file is under appeal.

Ioan Cindrea (PSD) – Sibiu County Council President. In 2011 ANI accused him (MP at the time) of conflicts of interests for employing his wife with his parliamentary office. In June 2014 the Prosecutor’s Office sent his to court for conflicts of interests, the file being registered with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled on December 10, 2014 and condemned Cindrea to one year in jail.

Horia Uioreanu – Cluj County Council President. He is currently under house arrest (starting November 12, 2014). Uioreanu had been under preventive arrest since May 29 indicted for forgery and money laundering. On June 23 he was officially accused by the DNA prosecutors. The Cluj Court of Appeal replaced preventive arrest with house arrest on November 12.

Borboly Csaba (UDMR, the Democratic Union of Magyars in Romania) – Harghita County Council President. He was sent to court in 2013 for abuse of office, instigation to abuse of office, forgery and calumnious denouncement, as he had illegally decided to discount amounts of money for several companies. The prejudice is estimated to EUR 1 million.

About Victor Lupu