Ex-Chamber speaker, Valeriu Zgonea, indicted for influence peddling

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Former speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, has been indicted for influence peddling after he would have interceded to appoint a secretary of state, the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) has announced on Wednesday.

According to the anti-corruption prosecutors, during July 1, 2012-April 2013, when he was Chamber speaker and vice-president of the Social Democrat Party, Valeriu Zgonea has accepted the promise made by a former county councilman at the Buzau County council during June 2004-December 2013, businessman Daniel Dobrica, to receive undue benefits for himself, in exchange of Zgonea’s intervention upon some public servants whom he allegedly had any influence upon, in order to appoint one of the councilman’s relative in an important public position.

Investigators claim that subsequently, Valeriu Zgonea would have received from Dobrica the counter-value of some tourism services and expenses related to building a vacation house in Covasna county, worth RON 62,143.

“Following Valeriu Zgonea’s actions, that person was appointed on April 22, 2013 as president of the National Management Center for the Informational Society within the Informational Society Ministry, although the person had no specialized training in that field. (…) Subsequently, also following Zgonea’s interventions- that person kept a position in the central public administration, being appointed as under secretary of state at the Communications Ministry on January 23, 2014,” prosecutors say.

Prosecutors have also seized goods worth RON 62, 143 from Zgonea’s wealth.

The former speaker of the Chamber of Deputies will be judged by the Bucharest Tribunal.

In April 2016, Valeriu Zgonea was ousted from the Social Democrat Party following criticism against chairman Liviu Dragnea. In June he was recalled from the chamber speaker’s position.

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