From Iceland — Controversial Ex-Mayor to Run Again

Controversial Ex-Mayor to Run Again

Published November 23, 2009

Former mayor of Kópavogur Gunnar I. Birgisson told reporters that he plans to run again in next spring’s municipal elections. Vísir reports that Birgisson, who stepped down last June under charges of corruption and nepotism, expects that the investigation into his activities will fully exonerate him, and soon enough for him to run again for mayor.
Flosi Eiríksson, chairman of the Kópavogur Pension Fund, released a statement last June backed up by his colleagues stating that the mayor had intentionally – and without the knowledge of anyone on the pension fund – deceived the Icelandic Financial Services Authority (FME). He contends that the pension fund was made openly available to the town authority in the hopes of improving revenue returns. Instead, Eiríksson contends, the mayor used part of the funds for his own purposes. Eiríksson encouraged the state prosecutor’s office to investigate.
In response, Birgisson sent out a statement saying he intended to go on a temporary leave of absence, but emphasized to reporters at television station Stöð 2 that he believes he has committed no crime and engaged in no wrongdoing, and said he hoped the investigation would move swiftly along.
Birgisson had been the focus of criticism for some time now for, among other things, awarding city contracts to a company owned by his daughter. Police and financial authorities are currently investigation Kópavogur’s financial records.

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