The entangled corruption relations in Mehedinti County do not stop with chairman of County Council Adrian Duicu. Chief of Police Inspectorate of Mehedinti County Stefan Ponea and chairman of PSD Orsova Constantin Popescu were also arrested on Wednesday night in this file.
Chairman of Mehedinti County Council and chief of Police Inspectorate of Mehedinti County were arrested and taken for inquires at the Central DNA headquarters following the searches made on Wednesday at the offices of several institutions and companies in Orsova, Drobeta-Turnu-Severin and Craiova, in a file regarding corruption by clerks with leading positions on local scale, in 2012, 2013 and January 2014. The chief of Mehedinti Police Inspectorate was removed from his office and chief-commissioner Romulus Oprita, one of the deputies, was entitled to take over at the helm of the inspectorate.
Adrian Duicu and Stefan Ponea are accused of pressuring public servants to appoint people close to them in leading positions in public institutions and to cede land in Orsova for convenient prices.
“As regards the members of the Local Council of Orsova town, the influence was to be enforced to make them approve to remove from public property and to cede to another person in Ponea’s family, two plots of land (stretching over 200 square metres, in the centre of Orsova town and representing the surface along a street) wrote the prosecutors in their file. According to them, a member of Ponea family obtained the two plots of land, following an intervention from Duicu, who used his influence upon eleven members of Orsova Local Council, through the agency and with the aid from chairman of PSD Orsova Constantin Popescu.
Legal sources said that a lot of chiefs of local institutions in Mehedinti were heard on Wednesday by the prosecutors, being inquired whether they were ordered to influence several companies to sign sponsoring contracts and advertisement with Tele2Drobeta TV channel, owned by one of Duicu family companies. The anti-corruption prosecutors say chairman of Mehedinti County Council ordered, through intermediaries, all the mayors in Mehedinti to pay RON 600 each, before the winter holidays, for “holiday cheers” to be broadcast on the lower band of the screen at two TV channels controlled by the “local tycoon.”
According to DNA, Adrian Duicu told chief of Police Inspectorate Mehedinti Stefan Ponea that he also has influence on some Government members, some civil servants at the helm of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police and that he can make them appoint him as deputy director of the Directorate for Public Order. Duicu promised Ponea that he is going to use this influence so that Ponea could be temporarily maintained as chief inspector of Mehedinti Police Inspectorate, and then, at a later date, to be appointed deputy director of the Directorate of Public Order within the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, as well as to appoint a person in his family in a leading position at the Public Ministry.
As for Constantin Popescu, chairman of Orsova branch of PSD since 2011 and known as a person close to the chairman of Mehedinti County Council Adrian Duicu, he owns Floricola company, providing public service of water supply and sewerage in Orsova town, through a cession contract signed in 2006 for 25 years. The company also provides street cleaning in Orsova, based also on a ceding contract on 25 years.
Sources in Orsova Local Council told Mediafax correspondent that the accusations brought to Orsova PSD leader in this file are related to a purchase of land on the public property, a surface of more than 5,000 square metres, in Coramnic area in Orsova. Thus, Constantin Popescu allegedly bought this land for a price of seven euros per square metres, as the price in that area was EUR 40 per square metre. The transaction was approved by Orsova Local Council. Constantin Popescu is the father of Valentin Popescu, director of the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child protection Mehedinti, who is the godson of Adrian Duicu.