Jerusalem official who killed self was reportedly probed over 5 parking tickets

Jerusalem official who killed self was reportedly probed over 5 parking tickets

Friend says Dani Katz, 37, could not deal with his name being exposed publicly as part of suspected scandal, despite relatively minor role in alleged scheme

Dani Katz (Kan TV / YouTube screenshot)
Dani Katz (Kan TV / YouTube screenshot)

A Jerusalem municipality official who died by suicide days after he was detained as part of a corruption scandal was being investigated for allegedly canceling five parking tickets in exchange for benefits, Channel 13 news reported Tuesday.

The man, Dani Katz, 37, an official in the Jerusalem Municipality, was found dead Monday near his apartment building in Jerusalem, police said.

His death came days after he was one of three people detained in a corruption investigation that probed the cancellation of parking fines in exchange for thousands of tickets to performances and events.

But Channel 13 reported Tuesday that the total suspicions against Katz amounted to just irregularities regarding five tickets.

According to the network, Katz left a letter to his family asking for forgiveness and denying the suspicions against him.

A friend told Channel 13 that Katz was mortified by being publicly accused.

“The news reports were very difficult for him, when he saw they published his name he understood his fate was sealed. Just because of the suspicions and the media outcry, he took his own life,” said Nissim Matresso.

Police said a 10-month covert investigation revealed suspicions that a senior official at a Jerusalem municipal utility and his assistant handed out thousands of event tickets obtained via a municipality official, trading them for various personal benefits including the cancellation of parking tickets for his associates.

On Monday, the municipal utility official was named as Zion Turgeman, chairman of the city’s Ariel event production company.

The suspects are under investigation on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust, as well as giving and receiving bribes, police said.

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