Knesset ethics committee scolds Likud MK Regev

Knesset ethics committee scolds Likud MK Regev

Legislator organized a parliamentary hearing that focused on the mayor of Upper Nazareth, a personal friend accused of corruption

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Culture Minister Miri Regev (Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Culture Minister Miri Regev (Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Likud MK Miri Regev’s oversight of an Interior Committee hearing in October disrespected the Israeli parliament and the dignity of its members, the Knesset Ethics Committee ruled Tuesday.

The ruling came in response to complaints by a number of MKs, who claimed that Regev had not allowed any room for debate during a hearing on the relationship between mayors and senior officials in municipalities, and had ordered the removal of a number of participants from the discussion in response to their objections to her behavior.

The hearing focused on the relationship between Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso, a personal friend of Regev, and the northern city’s municipality’s legal adviser, who had been behind a number of corruption allegations against Gapso.

No other municipality workers, or mayors, were invited to the hearing, prompting some MKs to assert that Regev’s mediation of the discussion was unethical as it may have been motivated by personal interest.

MKs who criticized Regev during the hearing were ushered out of the hall, with Regev maintaining they were “disturbing” the debate.

Gapso is accused of accepting a bribe, breach of trust, money laundering, violation of privacy and illegally accessing a computer.

The Ethics Committee stated that the discussion failed to deal with general cases and instead dealt with a private case, which should have been dismissed by Regev given her personal ties to the Upper Nazareth mayor, Israel daily Maariv reported.

However, the committee statement continued, Regev would only be symbolically “rebuked,” as no further complaints had been filed against her.

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