the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, targeted by an accusation of “favoritism”
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The Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, announced on Friday that the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) had upheld the offense of “favoritism” in the case of two works of art offered in 2017 by a leader of a group French water treatment.
The Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt announced on Friday February 3 to AFP that the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) had upheld the offense of “favoritism” in the case of two works of art received as gifts in 2017.
In a briefing note sent to his lawyer, “the prosecution considers that there is only one grievance, in this case a formal offense of favoritism in a 2009 public contract”, Olivier Dussopt told AFP, adding that he ‘no corruption’ is alleged against him.
A preliminary investigation for illegal price of interest had been opened against Olivier Dussopt, concerning two lithographs by the painter Gérard Garouste which had been offered to him by a company in 2017, when he was deputy and mayor of Annonay. The investigation was to verify possible facts of “corruption” and “illegal taking of interest”.
In his statement to AFP on Friday evening, the Minister of Labor – on the front line on the disputed pension reform – indicates that the PNF “did its job and carried out an investigation and multiple investigations which brought to light five bereavements possible”.
“My oral and written expressions have largely convinced the prosecution”, which “considered that four out of five of these sorrows have no consistency and classified them without further action”. “No corruption is therefore reproached to me”, adds the minister.
These two lithographs had been offered by a local manager of Saur, a French water treatment group, when a contract was about to be concluded between the town of Annonay (Ardèche) and this company. The contract, negotiated since 2016, was formally signed six months later, on June 1, 2017.
Olivier Dussopt then explained that he had not declared these lithographs to the ethics officer of the National Assembly – as is required for any gift of more than 150 euros – because he “did not know the value” of the two paintings. He then returned them.