Nino Savastano, the regional councilor of Campania arrested. The accusation: rigged contracts

Nino Savastano, the regional councilor of Campania arrested. The accusation: rigged contracts
Nino Savastano, the regional councilor of Campania arrested. The accusation: rigged contracts

Ten precautionary measures, 29 investigated in total in the investigation, coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Salerno, which is shaking the political world of Salerno and Campania, in particular the area close to the governor of Campania, Vincenzo De Luca. Among those arrested – under house arrest – there is the regional councilor Nino Savastano, elected in Campania Libera, very loyal to De Luca and his former alderman when he was mayor of Salerno. Moreover, Savastano still appears to be councilor for the municipality, until the new municipal council is established. At the center of the survey are the contracts for the maintenance of city streets, public parks and park control for a total value of about one and a half million.

Technicians and politicians

The director of the Environment sector of the Municipality of Salerno, now retired, Luca Caselli, is also at home. Another very loyal, but this time as a technician, of the governor. So much so that he held the position of Rup (sole responsible for the procedure), for piazza della Libert: the mega public work wanted by De Luca and designed by the star architect Ricardo Bofill. Among the suspects the mayor of Salerno, Vincenzo Napoli; the former president of Salerno Pulita, a company controlled by the municipal administration, Antonio Ferraro; and Felice Marotta, former manager of the Municipality.

The accusations against the mayor

Vincenzo Napoli investigated for disturbed freedom of the enchantments with the aggravating circumstance of office abuse. No precautionary measures were requested by the Prosecutor against him. The story that sees him involved, together with his collaborator Felice Marotta, concerns the assignment of the rental service for a road cleaning vehicle called by the sole director of the “Salerno Pulita” company, Antonio Ferraro. According to investigators, the mayor and others have taken steps to favor the social cooperative “Third dimension”. Fiorenzo Zoccola, de facto manager of the coop, would have asked Marotta to press Ferraro. Naples and Marotta, according to the reconstruction contained in the ordinance, would therefore have taken action by summoning Ferraro to the municipal offices and urging him to satisfy the need expressed by Zoccola. The existence of another offer would have been reported to the latter, thus allowing him to present in turn a better proposal that would allow him to award the contract to the social cooperative “Terza dimension”.

The coop

Fiorenzo Zoccola, president of a social cooperative and de facto manager of other cooperatives grouped in a consortium that over the years has monopolized numerous contracts of the Municipality of Salerno, ended up in prison. No residence for seven entrepreneurs, all owners or managers of social co-ops. The suspects are accused in various ways of disturbed freedom of enchantments, undue induction, criminal association and a case of electoral corruption.

I nomi

The other suspects are Marcello Senatore, Ciro Mandola, Marcello Ciotta, Davide Francese, Dario Renato Citro, Vincenzo Landi and Davide Minelli, Maria Grazia Mosca, Patrizio Stompanato, Lucia Giorgio, Mauro Meo, Ugo Ciapparone, Gerardo Zoccola, Daniele Gargiulo, Pasquale Soglia, Giuseppe Romeo, Rosaria Sbozza, Luciano Nautili, Giuseppe Trezza, Honeylet Zoccola, Giovanna Catanzano, Pio and Emanuele Zoccola.

The beginning of the investigation

The investigation started in recent years after a complaint presented by some municipal councilors in the prosecutor’s office. Who, after having asked in vain to suspend the ban, turned to the magistrates. During a municipal assembly it was the municipal councilor Peppe Ventura who raised the case, revealing that he had received threats for his findings on the alleged irregularity of the contract. And similar accusations were launched by the exponent of Forza Italia, the municipal councilor Roberto Celano.

The sign to pilot the announcement

The investigation led to the hypothesis of the existence of a cartel, made up of eight cooperatives, all of them directly or in fact controlled by Fiorenzo Zoccola, to agree on bids for the contract and therefore to pilot the tender. All this, according to the investigators, would have happened with the consent of some political references at the top of the municipal administration.

Anti-corruption and resolution

But there is a further implication connected with this investigation. In September 2019, the Anac, at the time chaired by the magistrate Raffaele Cantone, also intervened on the contracts entrusted by the Municipality of Salerno to the social cooperatives. The National Anti-Corruption Authority had found critical profiles in the contracts that were awarded between 2013 and 2017 by the municipal administration. The Municipality, in response to this act of the Anac, believed that it had run for cover with a series of obligations. But in that Anti-Corruption document, which was then sent to the Prosecutor’s Office and to the Court of Auditors, there were serious and very specific findings. These include the discretionary choice of entrusting tenders to social cooperatives and not to the free market as the objectives of working and social reintegration of disadvantaged categories do not emerge in the documents examined. According to the Anac, this would have led to the violation of the principle of free competition.

The words of the mayor

In a note, the mayor of Salerno expressed full confidence in the work of the magistrates. In relation to the ongoing investigation – said Enzo Napoli – we express full confidence in the action of the judiciary. We await the outcome of the investigation, which we hope will quickly shed full light on the disputed facts.

11 October 2021 | 09:56

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