Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani was indicted Tuesday on charges of accepting bribes, fraud, breach of trust and failure to disclose millions in income.
Just three weeks before municipal elections, the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office filed the indictment against Lahiani on five separate counts of the corruption crimes. Lahiani said Tuesday he still intended to stand for reelection.
The mayor of the seaside town south of Tel Aviv is accused of failing to declare and pay taxes on NIS 8 million (around $2,200,000) in income and of accepting bribes of some NIS 900,000 (around $250,000).
Lahiani is also accused of running a ring of city employees who used their status to take out bank loans that they passed on to Lahiani personally, and of a conflict of interest in an affair where the city would take out advertisements in a local paper of which he was a part owner.
Indictments were also filed against other employees at the Bat Yam municipality, including Lahiani’s brother, Avi.
Last month, the High Court of Justice decided remove two mayors — Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso and Ramat Hasharon Mayor Yitzhak Rochburger – from their posts due to ongoing corruption trials, while allowing them to participate in this month’s municipal elections once again.