The mayor northeast city of Iasi will stand trial on official misconduct charges over a car leasing contract, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Mihai Chirica, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, is one of five city hall officials who will go on trial, together with former mayor Gheorghe Nichita who is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for being bribed with luxury hotel stays.
There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Chirica to the development. He was in the headlines earlier this week after a protester splattered him with yogurt at him during a public ceremony to mark a national holiday.
Prosecutors said the five ares suspected of illegally entering a four-year leasing contracts for a Skoda Superb and three Skoda Octavia cars in 2013 despite the fact that at the time authorities were not allowed to lease vehicles.
The contracts cost the city hall more than half a million lei (more than 100,000 euros), prosecutors said.
At the time, Mihai Chirica was deputy mayor of Iasi, the most important city in northeast Romania. He later took over as mayor from Gheorghe Nichita who was being investigated in a corruption case.
Prosecutors said that from February to May, 2013, Mr Chirica requested four cars which “are highly operative and properly equipped.” and then approved for the cars to be leased to the city hall. He specified that the cars should be Skoda models.
Gheorghe Nichita is charged with approving and signing off on the purchase of the cars for the city hall.
Other city hall officials took part in the acquisition process and have also been charged.
Iasi city hall said it was not asking for damages and would not be a civil party in the trial.