An Israeli court convicted a former mayor in a series of scandals — including naming a city street after a mistress.
The Tel Aviv District Court convicted David Yosef on Monday on 16 charges of sexual assault, fraud and breach of trust. The indictment detailed the harassment of dozens of women who worked at City Hall, and the firing of those who rejected his advances.
Yosef, a former mayor of the central working class city of Or Yehuda, was also charged with providing perks to the women he courted. Among his transgressions was naming a new street “Bali” in 2013. At the time he gave no explanation for his reasoning. But the indictment says it was the nickname he gave one of his mistresses.
Despite the lack of an explanation as to why he had decided on that particular name, the mayor’s proposal for the street was smoothly approved in a city council meeting. In a 2015 interview with Channel 10 the woman denied that the street was named in her honor.
In his summing up, Judge David Rozen wrote that Yosef had carried out “in a systematic way acts of a sexual nature against many women that he met during his work.”
The ex-mayor was accused of exploiting his authority to conduct illicit sexual relationships with female subordinates, and stealing municipal property in order to reward them – including computers, gift cards and even cash.
Yosef would also allegedly promote the women, regardless of their skills, while firing or transferring other employees to free up positions for them.
Those who rejected his sexual interest were shuffled about within the municipality or, in some cases, forced out of a job.
Many of the alleged victims who were part of the investigation were scared to testify against Yosef, and some asked police to withdraw their complaints.
Yosef is married and has two children.