Raffaele Lombardo is a former Italian politician who was once the president, or governor, of the Italian region of Sicily.
He’s now in hot legal water up to his bushy eyebrows owing to his allegedly intimate relationship with the top echelons of Italy’s infamous organised crime gang, the mafia, or so a court in Italy found.
The dishonourable Lombardo, found the court of first instance, actively sought the assistance of the mafia so he could obtain enough votes to obtain political power on at least three separate occasions. In return for mafia votes, Lombardo supported the operations of the mafia by favouring applications for public works and service contracts, construction permits, and more.
Not only was this dodgy gentleman courting the mafia, he also engaged in a nice little scam which involved the acquisition of agricultural land. Once the land had been purchased, miraculously, construction permits would be granted. Instant increase in land value guaranteed. Guess who was ensuring the necessary permissions were issued?
Even though he’s been found guilty of collaborating with organised crime since 2001, the wily Lombardo managed to cling on to the top spot in Sicily until mid 2012. Heaven only knows how much public money ended up in mafia pockets not to mention in his own personal bank account.
For, in the eyes of the court, actively seeking the support of organised crime and ripping off taxpayers and farmers, Raffaele Lombardo qualifies as Italy Chronicles’ Italian Rogue of the Week – a title he certainly seems to merit, it has to be said.
By the way, Lombardo’s son, Toti, is a currently a serving member of Sicily’s regional assembly. Let’s hope he doesn’t take after his father.
Meanwhile, scintillating Sicily continues to be as badly run as ever, alas.
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