(ANSA) - Rome, September 21 - The secretary of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party said Friday that the PdL's embattled Lazio governor Renata Polverini was the "victim" in a corruption scandal that has roiled the administration of the region around Rome. Angelino Alfano echoed Berlusconi in saying Polverini should not quit. "She is the injured party. She is the victim because she is suffering, like the PdL, image damage," he said. Polverini earlier this week hinted she wanted to step down but then said Friday she had been "betrayed by a system that has existed for years". The scandal erupted earlier this month when the PdL's then regional chief, Franco Fiorito, was placed under investigation for suspected embezzlement of party funds. On Thursday Fiorito, who has since resigned, said Polverini must have been aware of how the funds were spent. "The governor of the region Renata Polverini could not have not known, since the decision was made by the whole administration," Fiorito told prosecutors.