"Favoritism, passive corruption, passive influence peddling, illegal taking of interests": these are the qualifications used by the Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction of Marseille to indict Hermeline Malherbe, current socialist president of the departmental council of Pyrénées-Orientales.
This judicial challenge took place a fortnight ago after the president of the departmental executive was heard under the regime of police custody. She was placed under judicial supervision and prohibited from leaving the national territory. She was stripped of her passport and forced to post bail.
The incriminated facts date back to the time when Hermeline Malherbe was president of the powerful organization of the HLM office of the Pyrénées-Orientales until 2021. On the sidelines of a judicial investigation conducted to shed light on the circumstances of the suicide of a defendant in the gendarmerie barracks of Thuir, the gendarmes were interested in the award of public contracts to build this new gendarmerie barracks.
In question, work at his home
They discovered anomalies, particularly with regard to the award of the plumbing contract by the HLM 66 office, the contracting authority for this important project, among dozens conducted by office 66. The president is accused of having benefited from work at her home by the same contractor, who is also regularly retained in the various calls for tenders of the office.
Hermeline Malherbe is not the only one to be targeted in this case. Two architects, the mayor of the municipality of Baixas and the artisan plumber are also indicted for various reasons including favoritism, corruption or concealment.
The indictment, which dates back to May 16, had not been made known until then. The revelation of the existence of this legal procedure by France Bleu Roussillon led President Hermeline Malherbe to issue a statement Tuesday evening. "As part of the investigation conducted by the JIRS of Marseille which concerns companies and elected officials of the Pyrénées-Orientales I was heard recently. This does not affect my mandate as Chair of the Department. With my counsel, Gilles Gauer, we will do everything possible to shed light. Anxious to let justice carry out its work, I will not express myself on the subject outside of this statement, "says the president without ever mentioning his indictment.