Brasov mayor charged with abuse of office in new corruption case
The anticorruption prosecutors started the criminal prosecution of George Scripcaru, the mayor of Romanian mountain resort Brasov, for abuse of office.
Scripcaru is being investigated in a case in which Aristotel Cancescu, the former president of Brasov County Council, was placed under judicial control for abuse of office. Two other people are investigated in this case under judicial control, namely Gavril Matei (county councilor at the time of the facts) and Cristina Lucia Grama (company manager at the time of the facts).
In 2013-2014, Gavril Matei and Lucia Grama took the necessary steps to illegally get an 110-sqm area in the Brasov County Emergency Hospital’s courtyard, based on a fraudulent agreement with Aristotel Cancescu, according to a statement from the National Anticorruption Department (DNA).
Cancescu allegedly used the influence he had as county council president, and took steps to adopt, and later sign a decision that approved the 110-sqm area’s lease, although the hospital management hadn’t said that it wanted to rent that space.
"After the decision’s adoption, Brasov County Emergency Hospital organized a public auction on September 6, 2013, after three companies controlled by Gavril Matei previously bought the specifications. A company managed by Cristina Lucia Grama won the auction, considering that there was only one other bidder, but which had placed a bid for a price lower than the starting price," according to DNA.
In the same day, Grama notified the hospital that a commercial building would be built on the 110-sqm plot.
However, the company didn’t meet the conditions for obtaining the building permit so, "taking advantage of his position of county councilor and party member, but also because he had the support of president Aristotel Cancescu, Gavril Matei exercised influence on Brasov City Hall officials to obtain the building permit, even if the legal conditions weren’t met."
On November 7, 2013, Matei received the building permit, which was also signed by Brasov mayor George Scripcaru. According to the prosecutors, the mayor knew that the license was issued even if the measures imposed by the law weren't met.
Moreover, after obtaining the building permit illegally, the building that the company had built on the leased plot covered more than 110 sqm, thus occupying 40.29 sqm of public domain abusively. After the hospital notified the County Council about this situation, Aristotel Cancescu used his influence on other officials of the County Council and had the initial leasing contract changed as to include a larger area. Meanwhile, he delayed a response to the Brasov County Hospital, thus allowing the company to use the rented area.
This is not the first time when George Scripcaru’s name appears in a case of corruption. In July 2015, he was held on held on bribery and abuse of office charges. His case was sent to court in April this year.
Irina Popescu, firstname.lastname@example.org