Formigoni in fresh corruption probe

Ex-Lombardy governor investigated for suspected graft

Formigoni in fresh corruption probe

Milan, 12 June - Former Lombardy governor Roberto Formigoni has been placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption and tender-rigging in a kickbacks probe in which seven people including a former regional councillor were arrested in March, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported Wednesday. Formigoni, a prominent member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, was already investigation for suspected conspiracy and corruption linked to the Pavia-based Maugeri health-care foundation. Businessman Pierangelo Dacco', a friend of Formigoni's, is at the centre of the Maugeri probe. On Tuesday a Milan appeals court sentenced Dacco' to nine years in prison for embezzling money through the San Raffaele hospital in Milan. According to the court, Dacco' helped create the so-called "San Raffaele system", whereby entrepreneurs who worked under contract for the hospital would intentionally overbill clients and give the difference to Dacco' who used the money for slush funds. He was also found guilty of misappropriating assets and tax fraud. Formigoni has consistently denied wrongdoing and says he paid for holidays on a boat provided by Dacco'. The PdL heavyweight's lawyer complained Wednesday that news of the probe was broken by the press without his client being informed, like the previous one, although he did not cast doubt on the report. Formigoni and the whole Lombardy government and parliament resigned at the end of last year after a wave of scandals. The PdL governor of Lazio also resigned at about the same time. Local administrations led by various parties have been hit by scandals, mainly involving misuse of public funds, over the past two years.

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