Argentinian minister resigns after 60,000 dlr. found in bathroom

Argentinian Economy Minister Felisa Miceli resigned to face charges of corruption stemming from the discovery of a bag-full of cash in her office.

Argentinian minister resigns after 60,000 dlr. found in bathroom
Argentinian Economy Minister Felisa Miceli resigned Monday to face charges of corruption stemming from the discovery of a bag-full of cash in her office.

Miceli presented her resignation to President Nestor Kirchner after a federal prosecutor filed charges against her for failing to explain the presence of 60,000 dollars in cash found in her office bathroom.

"I am leaving because I do not want to damage a president who placed his trust in me," Miceli told Kirchner's chief of staff Alberto Fernandez, according to administration sources.

Miceli, 54, took office in November 2005, replacing Roberto Lavagna, who is currently running for president against Kirchner's party in the upcoming October elections. She was replaced by Secretary of Industry Miguel Peirano.

During an official act at Government House Monday afternoon, Kirchner declined to mention Miceli's resignation, but instead lashed out at the opposition while promoting the presidential candidacy of his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Police discovered the bagful of money in the bathroom closet during a routine security inspection of the ministry's offices on July 4.

Miceli initially claimed that she had been given the money by her brother, a wealthy businessman brother, for a real-estate deal that was never consummated. But the story wouldn't hold, as investigators said at least one of the bundles of cash was wrapped in an official band from the Central Bank of Argentina.

The scandal spells further trouble for Kirchner's party just three days from the official launch of his wife's candidacy, following earlier revelations two other administration officials were being investigated for allegedly taking bribes from the Swedish firm Skanska.

DPA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2007, 10:02
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