Mayor Elie Brun appeals a sentence barring him from public office for five years
Despite having been barred from public office for five years last week, Mayor Elie Brun of Fréjus may still be running for re-election in the upcoming municipal race in March. He was found guilty of corruption charges but the ruling has been suspended pending his appeal.
“My conscience is clear and I confirm, of course, that I’ve asked my lawyer to appeal the judgement”
Accused of illegal dealings for granting his wife’s ex-husband a beach lot for a restaurant in Fréjus, Mayor Elie Brun risked up to five years in prison and a 75,000 euro fine. The ruling took place on Thursday 30th January; Brun has been barred from public office for five years and was given a 20,000 euro fine, Var Matin reports.
In a press release, the mayor said, “I have duly noted the decision by the Criminal Court of Draguignan. Penal sanctions only become permanent after all appeals are exhausted. My conscience is clear and I confirm, of course, that I’ve asked my lawyer to appeal the judgement.”
His third wife, Annabelle Pieri, and her ex-husband Sébastien Scalia, have also been given 10,000 and 7,500 euro fines, respectively.
Because the ruling has been suspended, Elie Brun can still run for re-election in the mayoral race taking place in March. However, he is also in a tough spot politically as four right wing candidates are competing against him, to the benefit of the socialist candidate Elsa Di Meo who is leading in the polls.
Back in July, the main right wing party UMP decided to nominate Philippe Mougin rather than Brun for the municipal elections.
At that time, the frontrunners in the race were socialist candidate Elsa Di Meo with 28% of the votes and far right National Front candidate David Racheline with 25% of the votes, according to a CSA poll published in Var Matin. Mougin followed at 20% and Brun at 19%.
Since then, two right wing candidates further divided voters: Philippe Michel, Brun’s former cabinet director until 2007, decided to run against the mayor, and Sophie Parent was nominated by the centre right UDI party.