Political blackmail in Saint-Etienne: Gabriel Perdriau defends himself against the scandal with “determination”.

Political blackmail in Saint-Etienne: Gabriel Perdriau defends himself against the scandal with “determination”.

Saint-Etienne LR mayor and Saint-Etienne metropolitan president Gaël Perdriau on Thursday showed his “determination” to remain in office despite the sextape blackmail scandal that has rocked his city and tarnished its image for three weeks .

His lawyer Me Christophe Ingrain told AFP on Thursday that he had “in no way planned to retire from his duties”, as demanded by several local and national elected representatives of his camp and the opposition, but also by local economic actors. “There would be no legal justification for his resignation.”

“Gaël Perdriau works on all files in the city as in the metropolis and serves the two communities and the inhabitants with the same determination,” says a press release from his cabinet.

“He was released from three-and-a-half hours of police custody with no action taken by the judiciary,” his attorney said, calling the numerous hostile reactions from Republicans “disappointing” and criticizing LR’s expulsion process.

The 50-year-old elected official was arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the shooting and the use of a video shot in January 2015 in which we see Gilles Artigues, his former first deputy and ex-deputy known for his Catholicism in Police custody surrendering to being massaged by a man in a Paris hotel room. The aim is to politically neutralize this centrist who now occupies a position in Catholic education in the Tarn.

“Neither the mayor nor I are the sponsors of this video,” his chief of staff Pierre Gautierri said in an interview with local television TL7 on Wednesday, saying he was “calm about the course of events”.

The affair erupted in late August, when the news site Mediapart published the detailed confessions of a former close friend of the municipal team on what he said was a “moral slander” organized at the request of the mayor and his family. According to him, the shooting of the compromising video was remunerated with fictitious services charged by two local cultural associations subsidized by the town hall.

Following a complaint by Gilles Artigues, the Lyon public prosecutor’s office has opened a judicial investigation into “violation of privacy, aggravated extortion, embezzlement of public property by a person exercising a public function, breach of trust and concealment of these offences”.

The three investigating judges handling the case began hearing all those involved, the complainant, the whistleblower, the mayor, his chief of staff, the educational assistant and four heads of cultural associations on the financial aspect of the case, according to the federal prosecution court.

– “Execution ” –

Last week, Mediapart’s broadcast of scathing audio recordings marked the Hallali. We hear the mayor talk about the sextape with his first deputy, mentioning a broadcast “in small circles, with thrift” in a conversation recorded in July 2018, according to Mediapart.

“Once it’s on the networks, it’s not blackmail anymore, it’s execution,” he says in another recording from November 2017, according to Mediapart. The mayor assures him that he has not sponsored this video, has never seen it, and has never used it for political blackmail have used.

The metropolis’ 20 vice presidents met in a select committee Thursday afternoon to hear his explanations and find out how he intends to govern this community of 53 parishes and their roughly 400,000 residents, according to information gathered by AFP on the ground.

On Wednesday, more than a hundred people demonstrated in the pouring rain in front of City Hall to demand his resignation and that of his community team.

The CGT of municipal employees launched a strike call in the area of ​​living environment (cleaning and maintenance of green spaces) on Thursday morning. Citing “the mayor’s authoritarianism” and a “harmful context,” the CGT has called for “a moratorium on all administrative decisions regarding staff deployed by the team” from Gabriel Perdriau since his election in 2014.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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