Alderman named in pot plantation plot resigns

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The VVD City Alderman of Wijk bij Duurstede in Utrecht who was incriminated in a weed plantation case, has resigned.

The City Council reported on its website today that it has received notice from Carel van Gelder and that it was respecting his decision. “We regret the decision; it must have been a difficult one to take. We hope that calm will resume soon for him and the people around him,” the City Council wrote. But the Council apparently saw this coming; last week it had already divided the different tasks Van Gelder performed as alderman. Van Gelder ended up in discredit two weeks ago after two suspects in the bust of a weed plantation in Wijk bij Duurstede made incriminating statements about him. The weed plantation was started in 2010 in Arnhem, but closed a year later after a police raid. Some 822 plants were found. The men claimed it was the Alderman who had thought up the idea for the plantation, arranged the house it was located ion and funded the operation. They said that after they were arrested, Van Gelder had promised to pay them for staying quiet about his involvement, but then never did. Van Gelder, who also served as deputy Mayor for Wijk bij Duurstede, said at first that he was only involved as a witness in  the matter' “I am a witness in a criminal case that is in front of a Judge. This is a private matter that has no bearings on my performance as alderman for Wijk bij Duurstede,” he stated then. But in a statement released today he said that the case did affect his work as a politician. “The impression that is created does not come near the truth, but I must conclude that the limits that are acceptable for me and the people around me have been crossed. Therefore I have decided to resign from my post as Alderman per direct,” he said.