Prosecuted for “negligent embezzlement of public funds”, the former right-wing mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, was sentenced on Tuesday March 22 in Paris to a suspended six-month prison sentence for having delayed putting an end to a generalized system of overtime unduly granted to agents municipal, without effective work.
Along with his chief of staff and four other former administration officials, he was the subject of an investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), which began in 2017, after an initial investigation by the Marseille prosecutor’s office. Justice accuses them of not having taken measures (badgers, control service, etc.), between December 2013 and April 2018, to put an end to generalized practices within about fifteen municipal services, hours supplements granted monthly, without actual work done, in violation of labor law.
“Yes, I was negligent and didn’t pay enough attention to the inner workings of things”said the former mayor of Marseille (1995-2020), by videoconference, during a plea hearing before the 32and chamber of the criminal court. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 euros.
A shortfall of ten million euros per year
The investigations first concerned Samusocial, then were extended to other municipal services (libraries, museum, car park service, security department, etc.) in this city of some 870,000 inhabitants, which employs around 12 000 officers.
In a 2013 report, the regional chamber of accounts estimated the shortfall due to this system at ten million euros per year for the municipal budget, or 280 full-time equivalents.
To justify the sentence proposed by the PNF, which the judge approved at the end of the hearing, the prosecutor, Quentin Dandoy, recalled the ” context “ who “pre-existing” on the arrival of Mr. Gaudin and underlined that none of the defendants benefited from personal enrichment.
The investigation was limited to the period 2013-2018 due to the prescription on the one hand, and the first “measures that have reflected a desire to change things” adopted by the city council in 2018, on the other hand.
The PNF had initially summoned the defendants to appear before the criminal court in a classic hearing. But the defendants then obtained an appearance on prior admission of guilt (CRPC), which is based on an agreement between the prosecution and the perpetrator of an offense, who admits his guilt.