Perugia Prosecutors Arrest The No #2 Political Leader Of Umbria From Rocco Girlanda’s Home Town

Perugia’s formidable prosecutors are once again in the Italian news.

Mr Orfeo Goracci (left above) is the elected Vice President of the Regional Council of Umbria which sits in Perugia. He and eight others have been charged with serious crimes.

Mr Goracci is the former mayor of Gubbio half an hour north of Perugia and he runs the political machine there. The other eight arrested are all Gubbio officials. Mr Goracci is a friend of the Knoxaholic MP Rocco Girlanda who is the Member of Parliament in Rome for the same town.

Gubbio is in the Guinness Book of Records for annually creating the world’s largest christmas tree (image at bottom). A pretty and historic place on a hillside, it is where Knox and Sollecito had planned to go on the day after Meredith died.

Mr Girlanda is from an opposing party to Mr Goracci’s and has been quick to distance himself, but it is being remarked by commenters on Italian websites that there is no way he would have been elected MP if Mr Goracci’s machine had not given him a strong assist.

Last year, Mr Girlanda, who is married with five daughters, tried to intervene to tilt the Knox-Sollecito appeal in four different ways.

He wrote a book rhapsodizing the thoughts of Amanda Knox, using his parliamentary right to check prison conditions to access her. He ran several panels at his US-Italy friendship association in Rome. He attempted in parliament to cut police budgets for wiretapping.

And he petitioned the President of the Italian Republic to order an investigation of the Perugia prosecutors. This was ignored by the President. How ironic now that Mr Girlanda risks being at their receiving end.

This is a translation of the report by Emanuele Ciogli on Avanti Online.

The “Czar” of Gubbio is arrested for criminal conspiracy and charged with sexual assault

I wonder how Don Matteo would deal with the case, the fictional cycling detective in his cassock who is very popular with Italians.

The news these days brings us right to Gubbio, setting of the famous fiction and no longer only fiction: the former mayor of Gubbio, Orpheus Goracci, current vice-president of the Regional Council of Umbria, known for his despotic behavior as “Czar” or “King” or “The Boss”, has ended up in custody along with eight others of his “group”, all politicians, directors or officers in charge of the city.

The charges against him are serious: conspiracy aimed abuse of office, bribery, falsification of public documents, and removal of government records. But especially sexual violence.

He is accused of conspiracy since 2002 and “an undetermined number” of crimes: abuse of office, bribery, falsification of public documents and deletion of public acts. All this in creating “a climate of intimidation and fear in the city of Gubbio.”

According to one of the key witnesses of the prosecution to the Perugia investigation, conducted by the police and the carabinieri, Goracci when mayor “within the administration was acting like a dictator, treating the city as his own thing, refusing any advice that does not conform to his will, and penalizing or favoring at will employees, particularly women. “

Women were “advantaged” in exchange for sexual favors, and friends of friends were backed by virtue of rampant cronyism.

To understand the logic of the former mayor of Gubbio just listen to the testimony given to investigators by one witness, a policewoman with a fixed term contract, who was unlawfully excluded from a permanent contract because she was deemed “unfriendly” to the alleged conspiracy promoted by the former mayor.

“The logic was clear: either you were a woman and relented to the advances of Mayor Goracci; or you were a man and had political connections or friendships with Goracci or persons inside his group. Or you were out of the game.”

The woman’s statements describe a “permanent stop placed on her” say the investigators, confirmed by statements of her friend and colleague: she was unlawfully excluded from the competition for municipal police officer indefinitely after rejecting the alleged advances of the mayor (who in this episode is also accused of sexual assault).

Mayor Goracci on one occasion according to the papers of the investigation “attracted her to him, kissing her shoulder, and trying to kiss her on the lips.” But the woman “extracted herself and had managed to leave the office.”

This episode would be followed by another similar… She told him “to lay off, reminding him that he had a wife and a daughter.”

In the first image below you can see Mr Goracci with the Regional Council leadership. After his arrest there is an empty seat. His buddy Mr Girlanda will face a tough election later this year or next.

Uncharacteristic quietness from him meanwhile might thankfully become the norm. Shades of Amanda.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/22/12 at 09:11 PM in Hoaxers from 2007Knox-Marriott PRMore hoaxers

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He sounds like a real creep.

Posted by believing on 02/22/12 at 11:59 PM | #

Indeed, he does sound a creep. Just the kind of creep that Girlanda would pal around with. I’m glad he’s finally been arrested.

Posted by Earthling on 02/23/12 at 12:36 AM | #

Please, note that this man - a teacher - and the others: Maria Cristina Ercoli, Lucio Panfili, Nadia Ercoli, Antonella Stocchi, Lucia Cecili, Marino Cernicchi, Paolo Cristiano come from Rifondazione Comunista.

Graziano Cappannelli’s party is IDV.

Bravi, bravi.

Posted by ncountryside on 02/23/12 at 02:22 AM | #

Thanks ncountryside. Hmmm. Not a party exactly famous for the democratic rotation of power.

There is a slideshow off the alleged perps on the Nazione website:

I took a quick glance at the updates. Nothing more on Goracci or Girlando. Lucia Cecili and Paolo Cristiano seem to have agreed to sing and all the others remain locked up.

More arrests imminent.

If Girlanda can ride this he could maybe end up as mayor. If he doesnt surely Amanda will come and visit him and write up his profound thoughts.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/23/12 at 04:10 AM | #

Shots like the last one above make Gubbio look rather small, but if you check it out via Google Earth you can see that it stretches off up the valleys.

So the empire of the guys charged was a sizable one and the town budget up in the many millions.

Here below from Google Earth’s amazing interactive street view are some images that give some idea of what it is like.

[processed images here after breakfast!]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/12 at 03:50 PM | #

Mr Goracci may be freed on bail by the Perugia court on tuesday. There is a demonstration tomorrow in a main square in Gubbio in his support.

There is media discussion as to whether he should vacate his Umbria post which would change the balance of power in the regional assembly.

The president of the regional assembly is Eros Brega and he comes from Terni where Sollecito was in prison before the first appeal. Quarter of a million euros for recreational facilities went astray a few years ago when Brega was on the Terni city council He is under the prosecutors’ microscope too but seems much less implicated than Goracci.

Suddenly regional politics is of front-burner public interest. As in most countries it is usually something of a backwater. Nothing more out of Girlanda.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/24/12 at 08:49 PM | #
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