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August 17, 2022

Half of the County Council chairmen have legal problems

Half of the 41 county council chairmen have legal problems, being in various stages of prosecutions or trials.In Timis, National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors decided yesterday morning that Titu Bojin, the chairman of the Timis County Council, should be investigated out of custody, under judicial control. The Social-Democrat is accused of using his influence to persuade 17 mayors to sign public fund contracts with a company he recommended. Investigators have searched his home as well as his County Council office. In Hunedoara, Mircea Molot (PNL), chairman of the Hunedoara County Council, is under house arrest, being accused by DNA prosecutors of illegally favoring the companies of persons close to him in order to win contracts in projects in which the county council was involved. In Brasov, Brasov County Council Chairman Aristotel Cancescu (PNL) is arrested for malfeasance in office, passive bribery, influence peddling and instigating malfeasance in office. In Olt, Olt County Council Chairman Paul Stanescu is involved in the “Referendum case.” In Mehedinti, Mehedinti County Council Chairman Adrian Duicu is under house arrest after he spent six months in preventive arrest. He has been charged with influence peddling, purchasing influence and active bribery. In Buzau, Buzau County Council Chairman Cristinel Bigiu was arrested on Sunday after he was caught in the act of taking a bribe. In Prahova, Prahova County Council Chairman Mircea Cosma (PSD) and his son MP Vlad Cosma (PSD) are charged by High Court magistrates with corruption, influence peddling and passive bribery.


Most frequent accusation – corruption


In Constanta, Nicusor Constantinescu (PSD), the President of the County Council, is being investigated under judicial control in two different cases. In Ialomita, Silvian Ciuperca (PSD), the President of the County Council, is the subject of a National Anti-corruption Department (DNA) investigation into the illegal return of over 500 hectares of farmland property of the county council. In Calarasi, Raducu George Filipescu (PNL), the President of the County Council, was accused by the National Integrity Agency (ANI) in 2011 of having allocated over 1 M RON public funds to several associations he was either heading or was a member of. The investigation is still in progress. In Braila, the President of the County Council, Gheorghe Bunea Stancu (PSD), was dismissed at the end of last month, following DNA and ANI accusations. In Vrancea, Marian Oprisan (PSD), the President of the County Council, has been charged in a corruption case. In Suceava, the President of the County Council, Catalin Ioan Nechifor (PSD) is involved in the case regarding the illegal property restitutions where the DNA prosecutors are investigating MP Viorel Hrebenciuc. In Bacau, the President of the County Council, Dragos Benea (PSD) is a suspect of corruption committed between 2005 and 2012. In Botoşani, Florin Ţurcanu (PNL), the President of the County Council, was charged with intellectual forgery and referred to court in 2011. In Sibiu, the President of the County Council, Ioan Cindrea (PSD), was convicted and given a suspended sentence of a year of imprisonment by the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) for conflict of interest, being accused of having illegally hired his wife at his parliamentary office. In Cluj, the Ex-President of the County Council, Horea Uioreanu, has been under house arrest since 12 November, on charges of bribe-taking, falsification of documents and money laundering. In Harghita, Borboly Csaba (UDMR), the head of the County Council, was sent to Court in 2013 for abuse of office, instigation to abuse of office, intellectual forgery and calumnious denouncement. In Dolj, the President of the County Council, Ion Prioteasa (PSD), is under DNA investigation in a case of fixed tendering.


County council vice-presidents also subject of investigations


To the list above one can add the Vice-President of Bihor County Council, Alexandru Iosif Francisc Kiss (UDMR), who is under criminal investigation for bribe-taking, money laundering and abuse of office, and  Constantin Nicolescu (PSD), ex-President of Arges County Council, who was sentenced to nine years and six months in orison in a European funds fraud case. Another former head of county council in the South of Romania, Nicolae Mischie (Gorj, PSD), was sentenced in March 2013 to four years of imprisonment for taking bribe and influence peddling, but was conditionally released in May this year. Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea, also Executive President of PSD and ex-head of Teleorman County Council, is also one of the former county council presidents in conflict with the law. Dragnea was referred to Court in the case of the referendum for the impeachment of President Traian Basescu, in July 2012. He was charged with using his influence as someone who holds a lead position in a political party, for the purpose of deriving inducements for himself or for other parties.

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