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Matarazzo Indicted

matarazzo

A high-profile figure in state and city politics is indicted in the Alstom bribery case. Andrea Matarzzo, scion of a family of the highest high society, is accustomed to working behind the scenes,though he floated  his candidacy for the governorship in 2012.

His most important experience in public office does not figure in his Wikipedia bio: He served as coordinator of the subprefeituras — constituent neighborhoods of the city under Mayor Gilberto Kassab — during which he appointed retired military police to almost every single one of the subprefectures.

The story is an exclusive by the Folha de S.Paulo.

The  Federal Police (PF) indicted São Paulo city council member Andrea Matarazzo (PSDB), concluding that he received a bribe from the French engineering firm Alstom when he served as state energy secretary, in 1998.

The PF investigated Alstom’s dealings with the government of São Paulo between 1995 and 2003, during which the State was governed by successive PSDB administrations.

The police probe is based on information first obtained by the S. Paulo state prosecutor from Switzerland. The investigation was concluded in August of last year and has been awaiting an opinion from the federal attorney’s office.

In the final report of the investigation, detective Milton Fornazari Junior cites as evidence against Matarazzo an exchange of messages in 1997 in which Alstom execs discuss the payment of benefits to the PSDB, the Secretary of Energy, and the Accounting Tribunal (TCE). 

Though his name is not mentioned as a recipient of payments, police concluded that Matarazzo benefited from the position he occupied at the time the Alstom contracts were signed. Matarazzo was a secretary for eight months in 1998.

The PF indicted Matarazzo on suspicion of passive bribery. Prosecutor Rodrigo de Grandis, who has worked the case for a year, told the Folha that he could not speak publicly about the case because the proceedings are confidential.

According to Fornazari, the message that incriminates Matarazzo has to do ith a R$ 72 million contract for equipment to be supplied to EPTE, a company once controlled by the state and later privatized.

Along with Andrea Matarazzo, the PF also indicted two Alstom executives in Brazil and two ex-directors of EPTE who took part in negotiating the contract, Eduardo José Bernini and Henrique Fingermann.

“Although there is no evidence he received cash, it is duly established in the documents that it was they … who made it possible to [deliver the contract],” according to the Fornazari report.

THE OTHER SIDE

São Paulo city council member Andrea Matarazzo (PSDB) denied receiving a bribe from the Alstom group and said he did not take part in negotiations for the contract between Alstom and EPTE.

In a note, Matarazzo said he never had “knowledge and there was never any discussion” of the contract during his time as energy secretary of the state, from January to August 1998.

He also said that the topic was not discussed at the level of the board of directors meetings of state-owned companies in the sector, which he attended,” …

Matarazzo said his attorneys have already filed a motion to dismiss the charge.

Attorney Carla Domenico said that former EPTE execs Eduardo José Bernini and Henrique Fingermann  committed no improprieties and were accused because of the positions they occupy.

Alstom’s attorney in Brasil, Roberto Lopes Telhada, said the company’s executives did nothing illegal.

According to the Wikipedia write-up on the case, which is a little out of date,

During the negotiation and signing off the consulting contract, the State Secretary of Energy — which managed Elteropaulo — was David Zylbersztajn (who left office in 1998 to take over the National Petroleum Agency).

Zylbersztajn is the son-in-law of former president Henrique Cardoso. The  current Coordinator of the Subprefectures, Andrea Matarazzo headed Energy for several months before  it was taken over by current State Transportation Secretary, Mauro Arce.