Nice Mayor Resigns Amid Financial, Political Controversy
NICE, France (AP) _ After months of political and financial controversy, the mayor of this picturesque French Riviera city resigned Sunday to end more than six decades of family control in city hall.
″Endurance has its limits, and I’ve just reached the end of mine,″ read a letter by Jacques Medecin, 62, accused of improperly shifting funds to cover city debts and criticized for ties with extreme-right National Front politicians.
Medecin’s father, Jean, held the mayoral post for 38 years, except for a brief break during World War II. Medecin succeeded his father in 1966, forging a power base on the traditional right of French politics.
Medecin told regional authorities in the letter that he would step down immediately. The job will be held by Assistant Mayor Honore Bailet pending new elections.
Medecin, on a tour of Japan and the United States to promote the Riviera, could not be reached for comment Sunday.
His resignation comes two months after the Regional Chamber of Accounts ruled Medecin, Bailet and three municipal councilors shifted city funds to cover municipal overdrafts.
A mid-November court date was set, and city officials involved could be stripped of their posts if the chamber’s ruling is upheld.
Medecin also had been under fire by his conservative Rally for the Republic party, headed by Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac, for apparently courting members of the National Front, which supports an anti-immigrant platform.
Medecin earlier this year appeared to be leaning toward an informal agreement with National Front councilors. Support for the party has grown in Nice.
The National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, has the support of about 15 percent of France’s voters, according to some recent polls.