Comi: “Job given to my mother, mistake of my accountant”
The Forza Italia Euro MP explains her involvement in the investigation by the European Union into expense repayments.
“Choosing a family member as a collaborator was allowed until 2009, with a period of transition of one year, as it was explained to me by my accountant, who had also consulted the offices of the European Parliament.” This is how Lara Comi, the Euro MP for Forza Italia, explained her involvement in the investigation by the European Union into the expense repayments granted to Euro MPs. In many cases, these repayments were used for the expenses of staff who had nothing to do with the work of the Euro MP.
These also included expenses for Comi, who, between 2009 and 2010, had “employed” her mother, for a total of about €123,000. “It’s important to me to be transparent about the whole story, as I have always been. In 2009, when I was 26 years old, I was elected to the European Parliament,” Comi said. “I left my job in the private sector and enthusiastically began this experience. Every day, I faced new, important challenges, and to tackle them, I decided to have a fiduciary officer beside me, which I’m allowed to have, someone that I had the utmost confidence in, my mother, who has been beside me in all the most important moments in my life. In order to support me in this role, she took unpaid leave from her job as a teacher.”
Comi declared that she consulted her accountant at that time, who said that choosing a relative was permitted. “Only after many years, that is to say, in 2016, did I discover that this had been excluded from the parliamentary regulations. For this reason, already on 3rd April 2016, I dismissed my accountant, who had made the mistake, albeit in good faith. In any case, as someone who has a public role, I take full responsibility for this incident, and I have already started all of the necessary actions: I’m returning the contested sum, with a deduction made from my monthly salary. So, I would like to say that anyone who wants to make a controversy out of this incident has got the wrong person, because transparency and clearness of behaviour are the most important things for me.”