Friday, 25 April 2014 - 09:02
Integrity commission taps corrupt pol suspect
Ex-VVD alderman Jos van Rey, who is being suspected of corruption and conflict of interest, is going to be sitting in an integrity commission in Roermond. This commission is set up to screen candidates for council members, which it will to together with an external bureau. Van Rey announced this in the tv program AvondGasten from the Limburg channel L1. Van Rey doesn' see anything in his personal history that should obstruct his being part of the council. "Between 1998 and 2012, there hasn't been a single alderman who has kept watch on his own integrity as I have" Van Rey says. The Public Prosecution Authority invited Van Rey to speak about the corruption investigation that has been running against him for some time. In the interview with L1, he did not give a date for the discussion. Van Rey is now council member for the Liberal People's Party Roermond (LVR), which branched off from the VVD when members split. Van Rey was frontrunner during the municipal council elections. The LVR got 10 of the 31 seats and became Roermond's biggest party. The other parties are keeping the LVR out of the coalition, which will be made up of seven parties in total. This means that the LVR will become the only opposition party. The council member feels guilty about the conviction of his friend Ricardo Offermanns, who was in the mayoral candidacy race for Roermond. He tried to grow Offermanns' chances by having discussions with him over the telephone. At that time, Van Rey was an advisor to the confidential commission that has to choose a new mayor. Offermanns was highest on the list of candidates. Van Rey doesn't feel guilty about the discussions per se, but what happened after that. "One of the most emotional moments I've ever had", he said about the first meeting that he had with Offermanns and his wife after the conviction. The court sentenced ex-mayor Offermanns van Meerssen to 120 hours community service for taking confidential information. He damaged the trust in the office with the knowledge, the court said.