Police investigators on Wednesday afternoon surprised employees of the Beit Shemesh municipality, some 20 miles outside Jerusalem, and raided some city hall offices, as well as the adjacent offices of a private company. Investigators eventually left with armfuls of documents that ostensibly suspect the municipality’s conduct on various issues. They also detained one City Council member for interrogation, the website BeHadrei Haredim reported. Police also raided and searched the home of the same individual.
The investigation by the Fraud Department of the Jerusalem Police has been going on for some time, and stems from suspicion of misconduct in issuing tenders, fraud, and Breach of trust by a public servant. These include an attempt to divert and negotiate a public tender worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, originating from public funds, to favor personal acquaintances and interested parties.
It is suspected that a tender was published a year ago by the local municipality, and the investigation has so far shown that a council member skewed the terms of the tender to favor one particular company, which eventually won it – despite the fact that it did not meet the original required terms of the tender.
Jerusalem Police issued a statement saying, “The attempt to divert and negotiate a public tender worth thousands of shekels that come from public funds allegedly to favor personal acquaintances and interested parties is extremely serious, because it directly harms law-abiding citizens.”