Milan council dissolved over mafia links

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The council of Sedriano was dissolved after a three-month investigation. Photo: Rosie Scammell/The Local
14:33 CEST+02:00
A local authority in the province of Milan has been dissolved for its alleged links to the criminal underworld, the first decision of its kind to be taken in the northern Lombardy region.

Alfredo Celeste, mayor of Sedriano, has been removed from his post along with the rest of the council, Il Messaggero reported on Thursday.

The decision was made by Italy’s central government and came after a three-month investigation into the workings of the local authority.

Celeste, a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, branded the move a “political decision”. But disbanding the council is linked to a criminal investigation from 2012, the newspaper said.

The 60-year-old mayor was initially arrested a year ago and accused of corruption, although returned to his post after a three month break.

But in April a commission was brought in to investigate whether the council had been infiltrated by the mafia. The investigators filed their report to Interior Minister Angelino Alfano in July, prompting the government to dissolve the council this week, Il Messaggero said.

A police commissioner has been appointed by the Milan magistrate to take over the management of Sedriano.

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The decision comes just months after the arrest of nearly every member of a town council in Calabria. Pasquale Basile, mayor of Scalea, was arrested with colleagues and accused of doing deals with the mafia.

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