City Hall fought the law and the law won …
Another bit of good news gleaned from the Portal ClippingMP
55 former city aldermen, among them mayor Gilberto Kassab, will have to return R$ 5.3 million to the public coffers, reports the Estado de S. Paulo.
Three private citizens persisted for 16 years to bring about the result.
Mayor Kassab continues to remain in office — correct me if I am wrong on this — only because of a stay preventing him from being impeached for campaign finance irregularities. And yet no one else seems to find this insane.
I try not to avoid getting involved in local political debate, but Mr. Kassab remains a grotesque reminder of Malufism, the political movement of the late eighties and early nineties that spawned him.
Maluf is the extraordinarily corrupt ex-mayor and ex-governor who is subject to immediate arrest in New York City by order of the Distrcit Attorney there. Said Robert Morgenthau at the time, “We are not running some Grand Caymans on the Hudson here, after all.”
After 17 years, a court sentenced 55 ex-aldermen from the Sambodian City Hall to return R$ 5,3 million to the public coffers. The sum represents salary payments between 1993 and 1994 that exceeded the constitutional limit — city legislators by law can receive no more than 75% of teh salaries of state lawmakers. No futher appeal is possible.
Among those sentenced was mayor Gilberto Kassab (DEM), five currently serving aldermen, two commissioners of the Municipal Tribunal of Audits and former aldermen Vicente Viscome and Hanna Garib, both accused of involvement in the Máfia of the Inspectors, a bribery scandal dating from 1998. Each defendant will have to repay R$ 95,000 on average, although the exact value can still be contested. They will also have to pay off R$ 533,000 in court costs.
There was a Mafia of the Inspector scandal just last year, in Brás. This is a permanent scheme in which city inspectors overlook lack of documentation in return for regular bribes from camelôs, or informal street vendors — who will sell you the latest movies cheaper than it would cost you to rent them.
I remember this latest outbreak of Mafia Scandalism because my immigration lawyer at the time was arrested as part of it. Gold chains, gold bracelets, expensive cologne in excess, the whole experience.
The civil suit dates from 1994. The plaintiffs, three residents of Lapa, in the Western Zone, questioned the forumula used by council members to calculate their own pay raises. Based on a wrongful interpretation of Resolution No. 05– the members of that council (1993-1996) were exempted from income tax.the state prosecutor nvestigated whether there were irregularities in the procedure leadingto the pay hike.
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