Rome mayor cleared in expense account scandal that cost job

ROME (AP) " A court on Friday cleared the ex-mayor of Rome in an expense account scandal that cost him his job and plunged the already troubled city administration into a year of chaos.

A defiant Ignazio Marino emerged from the courthouse denouncing the "ruling class" within his own Democratic Party that brought him down and said it was up to individual party members to apologize.

Marino resigned under pressure a year ago following a scandal over his use of his City Hall credit card. Questions had arisen about whether he expensed family dinners as official business.

The court found no crime was committed. Marino, though, said the damage was done.

"One year ago in our capital, democracy was wounded, the truth was denied and hundreds of thousands of Romans were violated of the democratic choice that they made for their mayor," he said.

Marino's ouster was the final straw in a months-long campaign by opponents inside and out of his party to force him from office. He invoked a law that allowed him to rescind the resignation within a prescribed period that since has elapsed.

Marino had insisted at the time he was being made the fall guy for rooting out corruption and mafia infiltration in City Hall under the previous administration, and vowed to expose the truth.

In the year since his resignation, the corruption investigation has expanded and Rome's public services have deteriorated as the city administration passed from a special commissioner to the newly elected mayor, Virginia Raggi, of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

Raggi's administration has stumbled after a host of problematic appointments and after her most prominent decision yet " to ditch Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympics " drew the ire of Italy's premier and sporting world.


This version corrects typo in Marino's last name.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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