Peter Brixtofte - Mayor of Farum - Consequences


Eventually the investigations resulted in two criminal cases being raised against Brixtofte who has pleaded not guilty in both. On 20 June 2006 Brixtofte was found guilty in the sponsor case (generally considered the smaller of the two) and was sentenced to jail for 2 years. He appealed but this was rejected on 8 February 2007. His lawyer has announced an appeal to the Supreme Court which would, however, only be granted in exceptional circumstances and can only affect the length of the sentence, not the guilty verdict. The appeal was granted by Procesbevillingsnævnet on 16 August 2007.

In the other legal case he was also found guilty on 10 April 2007. He was sentenced an additional 2 years of unconditional prison but appealed right away. The prosecutor also appealed for a higher sentence. His right hand, Leif Frimand Jensen, was also sentenced two years in prison, but it was made conditional due to his bad health. He also appealed. Twelve former and current councilmen are also charged, but risk only fines.

The welfare and leaseback programs got an abrupt ending as well. Eventually rulings were made on the tax issues making the sale-and-lease-back model less favorable. This as well as the bad media coverage of Brixtofte meant that investors lost faith in the administration. This caused the collapse of various plans that should have kept the scheme going, such as the sale of certain building sites. On top of that came increasing rent costs from the previous sales and eventually the municipality was forced to abandon the extraordinary welfare programs and dramatically raise its taxes. It went from being one of the cheapest to one of the most expensive municipalities in Denmark.

Some people feel the case has damaged the reputation of Denmark and Danish citizens faith in politicians in general. Still, Denmark had the highest rank in a list of the most corruption-free countries compiled by Transparency International.

Read more about this topic:  Peter Brixtofte, Mayor of Farum

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