Cristian Adomnitei is the 21st County Council President arrested by the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). Nonetheless, half of Romania’s counties are led or had been led by people who had trouble with justice. From the highest position in counties, they ended up in police vans or even under arrest.
The list of counties led by corrupt Presidents was opened over ten years ago by the Head of Gorj County, Nicolae Mischie. He is the first President of a County Council convicted for corruption: for years in prison, executed, for having demanded a businessman to make improvements to his villa in Targu Jiu in return for granting him contracts supported by public money.
Now, in half of Romania’s counties, leaders are facing legal issues. They are – or were – investigated, arrested or tried for corruption. Abuse of office, influence peddling, bribe taking, money laundering – these are the main accusations against them.
One man who had headlines for months was Constanta’s very own Nicusor Constantinescu. He was sued on three accounts of corruption and managed to stir the panic of Romanian authorities after leaving to America for a pretended treatment.
“An abusive arrest by DNA. I am a cancer patient”, Nicusor Constantinescu, the suspended President of Constanta County Council defended himself.
Another County Council President to become famous based on his legal issues was Adrian Duicu from Mehedinti. Prosecutors started a file against him after he declared in a conversation with the Commander of the Mehedinti Police Department that he had influence in the Government and in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He even mentioned the name of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the proof brought by prosecutors showed. He was placed under preventive arrest and lost the highest position in the county.
Neither Prahova County was avoided by Anti-Corruption Prosecutors. The President of the County Council, Mircea Cosma, had made illegal deals with public money, together with his son, PSD Deputy Vlad Cosma. Now, both are sued, and prosecutors have proof that shows they have allegedly caused a prejudice of RON 6 million to the county budget by illegally attributing contracts. 10 per cent of the demanded money went to PSD, investigators showed.
There are suspicions of corruption in the greatest county in Western Romania, as well. Last Christmas, prosecutors entered the offices of the Timis County Council and masked officers brought the manager to a hearing. Titu Bojin was investigated on probation for bribe taking and abuse of office. He allegedly directed county funds to the companies of close friends.
The last to join the map of corruption is Iasi County.
“The gallery of Heads of County Councils taken in police vans is joined by Cristian Adomnitei. The President of the Iasi County Council was stopped while driving and carried to a hearing, as he was suspected of abuse of office. He gained DNA attention after searches at the County Council headquarters, completed three weeks ago. Here, prosecutors sought information about contracts signed in the last two years”, Digi24 announced.
Most County Council Presidents were dismissed once the investigations by DNA prosecutors started.