Police urge Ramat Gan mayor be charged for graft

Israel Singer and municipality official Amnon Butz suspected of offering benefits to activists who assisted them during election campaign

Downtown Ramat Gan (Maya Levin/Flash90)
Downtown Ramat Gan (Maya Levin/Flash90)

Israel Police recommended Wednesday indicting Ramat Gan mayor Israel Singer for offenses relating to fraud and breach of trust.

Police said they would further recommend prosecuting top city official Amnon Butz for similar offenses.

According to police investigators, who had launched a probe into Singer and Butz over a year ago, the two officials are suspected of offering benefits to activists and service providers who assisted them during the 2013 election campaign.

Butz serves as the city’s vice president director of culture for the city, a Tel Aviv suburb home to the country’s stock exchange and diamond industry headquarters.

Ramat Gan mayor Israel Singer (CC BY-SA 3.0/Oferel)
Ramat Gan mayor Israel Singer (CC BY-SA 3.0/Oferel)

Last year, the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced former Ramat Gan mayor Zvi Bar to five and a half years in prison after he was convicted of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for promoting a number of real estate projects during his term in office.

Bar, 81, who served as the mayor of Ramat Gan for nearly 25 years, was also convicted of charges of breach of trust and money laundering.

Also on Wednesday, police said it recommended indicting Zichron Yaakov mayor Eli Abutbul for allegedly threatening a local businessman.

The investigation file will be transferred to the Haifa District Attorney’s Office for review and decision in the coming days.

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