Political blackmail in Saint-Etienne: the explanations of the chief of staff

Political blackmail in Saint-Etienne: the explanations of the chief of staff

The LR mayor of Saint-Etienne’s chief of staff, Pierre Gauttieri, on Wednesday, the day after his police custody, ruled out a resignation amid a political racketeering judicial investigation into the former first deputy of the town hall.

Mayor Gabriel Perdriau was also taken into police custody Tuesday as part of an investigation into the shooting and the use of a video shot in 2014 in which we see Gilles Artigues, his former first deputy and ex-deputy known for his Catholic involvement massaged by a man in a hotel room in Paris.

“Neither the mayor nor I are the sponsors of this video,” the chief of staff said in an interview aired on local TV station TV7 on Wednesday. “I am calm about the course of events”.

At the same time, a hundred people demonstrated in the rain in front of the town hall to demand his resignation, that of the mayor and of the education officer, who was also involved in this affair.

Several local elected officials have already called on the mayor and his team to step down, while LR has initiated a process of exclusion against him.

On Wednesday, the Medef de la Loire and three other employers’ organizations issued a press release denouncing “practices outside of any republican and managerial ethics”.

“We would like to urge the elected officials of Saint Etienne Métropole and the city to take the necessary measures to restore composure, teamwork and exemplary governance to governance,” the press release reads.

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.

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”.

Referring to the stunning audio recordings released by Mediapart on Monday, Mr Gauttieri said he was “shaken with shame” at his own words, which he uttered “in a moment of anger, confusion”.

“I have a video showing you ass in the air with a guy. Do you mind? Gilles Artigues, very Catholic MP, very good father in something like that?” he said in this recording, made during a meeting attended by the mayor in July 2018, according to Mediapart.

“If the fact that I’m going to jail brings you down because you give for an old pedal when you come back (…), I have no problem,” he says in another recording, which Mediapart says is dated November 2017 becomes.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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