Éric Piolle was suspected of favoritism in the awarding of a public contract during two editions of the “Fête des tiles” in Grenoble, in 2015 and 2016. No sentence was required against him.
The Valence prosecutor’s office spared the EELV mayor of Grenoble Éric Piolle on Tuesday, September 27, by not seeking a sentence against him, considering that he lacked the elements to establish a crime of favoritism in the awarding of a public contract by the city. “He is the head of administration, but there is a material element missing, there is no certainty that he maneuvered, there is no concealment“, Estimated in his indictment the prosecutor Laurent de Caigny, without however claiming the release.
The 49-year-old councilor has been appearing with six co-defendants since Monday before the Drôme criminal court – where the case was disoriented – for alleged facts of granting unjustified advantages for the benefit of the association “Rocketsby entrusting him with the organization of a popular festival in Grenoble in 2015 and 2016. For the former director general of municipal services François Langlois and an employee, the prosecutor did not require a sentence either, considering that they had actedin good faith».
On the other hand, he demanded fines with or without suspension for the four other defendants – two former territorial agents of Grenoble and two representatives of “Rockets– for committing or profiting from a form of “office misdemeanor“. The fairly technical debates on Monday and Tuesday largely focused on the nature of the cultural collective’s performance for the first two editions of the Fête des Tuiles, which at the time had not been the subject of an appeal. offers, exposing the participants to suspicions of favouritism.
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“Respect the public procurement code”
For the commission of an artistic work, article 35 of the public procurement code provides for a derogation, but this is not the case for a contract for the organization of a cultural event. For the Regional Chamber of Accounts (CRC) – whose report had triggered a preliminary investigation in 2018 and then in 2021 the placement in police custody of Éric Piolle – the service had “related to the realization and design of the party“and therefore could not”justify the procedure chosen».
A vision shared by Thierry Aldeguer, lawyer for the municipal opposition led by former mayor Alain Carignon, who filed a civil action. In its argument, counsel held that:Éric Piolle, in his capacity as mayor, had the duty to enforce the public procurement code».
“Eric Piolle is: “I see nothing, I hear nothing, I say nothing“”, he insisted, after the city councilor had indicated that he had not been informed at the time of a difficulty in these contracts, each of which was around 130,000 euros. On Monday, the mayor had however assured to be “comfortable with what has been doneby his team, which considered that it was an order for an artistic work. The hearing should continue Tuesday afternoon with the arguments of the lawyers of the seven defendants.