The former Keeper of the Seals Michel Mercier was sentenced, Thursday, January 26, to three years in prison suspended by the Paris Criminal Court for having granted fictitious parliamentary jobs to his wife and one of his daughters between 2005 and 2014.
The 75-year-old former Rhône senator (Democratic Movement) was accused of three embezzlement of public funds in the Senate, for having employed his wife, Joëlle, as a parliamentary assistant from 2005 to 2009 and having paid her 50,000 euros in salary, then his daughter Delphine from 2012 to 2014 who received more than 37,000 euros in income.
Judging that the facts were “of a certain seriousness” and that Mr. Mercier had done “Prior to personal interest over the common interest”the court also sentenced him to five years of ineligibility, a three-year ban from any public office and to pay a fine of 50,000 euros.
His daughter and wife also sentenced
The former centrist senator was also convicted of negligent embezzlement of public funds for continuing to pay a parliamentary aide who no longer worked for him. He was also tried for illegal taking of interests, but the facts of which he was accused in this respect were declared time-barred by the court.
The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office had requested in November a four-year prison sentence, three of which were suspended against Mr. Mercier. The Paris Criminal Court was finally less severe towards the former senator.
Convicted of complicity and concealment, his wife, Joëlle, and his daughter Delphine were sentenced, respectively, to an eighteen-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 40,000 euros for the first, and to a twelve-month suspended sentence and 10,000 euros fine for the second.