Judges invalidate election of Ramnicu Valcea mayor
Local elections could be held again in Ramnicu Valcea after the judges invalidated the election of Mircia Gutau as the city mayor. However, the sentence is not final. Gutau ran on behalf of the Romanian Ecologist Party.
The Ramnicu Valcea Court argued that the mayor-elect hasn’t complied with the eligibility conditions when running for the mayor seat. So, the judges say there is no final court ruling where the interdiction of exerting the right to be elected was enforced.
Mircia Gutau challenged the Court’s ruling. If his appeal is denied, early elections will be held. Until then, the interim mayor will be provided by one of the two deputy mayors of the city.
Gutau, former Democrat member, has already had two mandates as Ramnicu Valcea mayor but had two sentences in prison for corruption.
The city hall in Ramnicu Valcea is the only one in the Romania having two mayors and a deputy mayor who had been imprisoned for corruption.
Emilian Frîncu, the mayor who succeeded to Gutau as mayor, was also sentenced to prison for bribe taking.
In January 2010, Mircia Gutau has been sentenced to three years and six months in prison for bribe taking in a file where the former deputy mayor got a similar sentence. The two were reported to DNA by a businessman who denounced that ex-mayor Gutau and his deputy had asked him EUR 50,000 to release a town planning certificate.
In June 2014, Gutau was again convicted to two years and six months in jail for abuse of office in a file investigating the city hall’s buying some playgrounds for overrated prices.
The Court of Appeal in Craiova ruled that the two convictions should merge and the resulting sentence was three years and six months in prison.
However, despite this ruling, Gutau stayed at large.