Palermo, the mayor Leoluca Orlando and 23 between councilors and managers under investigation for forgery in the municipal budgets

Palermo, the mayor Leoluca Orlando and 23 between councilors and managers under investigation for forgery in the municipal budgets
Palermo, the mayor Leoluca Orlando and 23 between councilors and managers under investigation for forgery in the municipal budgets

Irregularities in the financial statements since 2016 al 2019. This is the heavy accusation against the mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando and 23 among former councilors, managers, auditors and area heads, under investigation for false in municipal budgets. This is what is stated in the notice of conclusion of the investigations signed by the deputy prosecutors Andrea Fusco, Giulia Beux and the deputy prosecutor Sergio Demontis, notified on the evening of Wednesday 20 October to the suspects.

There are several areas of disputes brought against the administration, by the office of building amnesty to that of taxes, from patrimonial resources to housing policies, as the local edition of Republic. Thus wrote the magistrates: “The public officials signed and sent to the General Accounting Office of the overestimated revenue forecast sheets (taking into account the data – known to them – of the actual assessments of revenues in previous years) thus misleading the Palermo city council on the truth of the deed, causing it to adopt the resolution with which the budget was approved “.

The investigations of the Finance Police, coordinated by the prosecutor of Palermo, have sifted through the accounts of the Municipality, now on the verge of a deficit. One of the chapters contested by the investigation concerns the budgets, another the management reports. In Orlando, a directive of 18 June 2018 is also contested “to have in a public act authentic up to a complaint of false … exposed false data and in particular reported credits to be recognized / settled of the Municipality towards investee companies lower than the real ones “. The reference is to the debts of the Municipality towards l’Amat (the company that manages public transport in the city ed): they would have been “falsely quantified in suns 197 thousand euros, for the year 2016, against the company’s receivables without expense commitments equal to 8 million 890 thousand euros“.

According to the results of the investigations by the Guardia di Finanza, not even some budget certifications would be true: for example, in the face of a final balance between revenues and expenses for the year 2016 indicated in +55 million euros, there would have been a real negative balance of minus 35 million euros, “hiding the failure of the municipality to respect the balanced budget”. Another example? The proceeds from the fines for violating the highway code had been 65,236,501 euros in 2015, yet in the budget forecast for 2016 they had been included for this item 85 million, the actual revenues, however, for that year were 65 million euros, 20 less than expected, in 2018 for this item there were expected revenues for 83 million, but actually just over 13 million came in: a difference of 70 million. And there are several items included in the notice of conclusion of the investigations in which the revenue forecasts exceed the revenue actually received for 2016 by several million. 2017 even an income forecast concerned the scrapping of folders already eliminated from the active residues of the balance sheet, but inserted the same for a sum of more than 17 million euros. While the costs were underestimated, although the figures were fixed by contracts, as in the case of the contract with Rap, subscribed for 124,734,063 (114,559,517 plus VAT 11,339,460) while it was included in the financial statements for 111,103,922 euros.

In the 2016 report “a final balance between income and expenses was falsely attested to +60.458.529 (more than that already communicated to the Mef, on 30/03/2017) due to a real negative balance of at least -35.213 .000 hiding the failure to respect the balanced budget by the Commun of Palermo. For 2017, however, they “falsely attested a deficit of -353,784,269.02 euros (against an actual deficit of at least euro –395.139.153,85) “. It goes a little better in 2018, when the attested deficit is “of euros -340.580.603,86 (against an effective deficit of at least Euro -343,584,966.75) “. Rap’s debts were instead calculated at 7,636,413.00 for the year 2016, “against real debts that amounted to 19,097,143.00”.

The investigation comes just as the mayor is about to complete the final year of his final term. “I was notified of the notice of an investigation, I will examine the documents filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and for the sake of clarity, I await to be heard by the magistrates in charge of investigations on the merits and competences in a particularly technical matter”, he comments Orlando. Last September 16, the City Council had approved the pre-bankruptcy process of the institution after a gap of 80 million euros had emerged at the end of the budget. In fact, the presentation of a plan of cuts which will inevitably affect services.

NEXT “It’s mom’s cooking”