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L’Aquila mayor resigns in wake of bribery probe

January 11, 2014

ROME (AP) — The mayor of the quake-ravaged Italian city of L’Aquila resigned Saturday amid fallout from an investigation into bribes allegedly paid to civil servants for contracts to rebuild the city center.

Massimo Cialente announced his resignation at a hastily-called news conference Saturday, saying he was paying the price for others’ misdeeds and simply couldn’t represent the city anymore.

His departure came days after police announced that eight people, including Cialente’s deputy, had been placed under investigation in the case. Vice Mayor Roberto Riga said he was innocent, but resigned Wednesday.

Police said $500,000 in bribes was paid to public officials to win contracts between 2009 and 2011.

More than 300 people were killed and thousands of buildings in L’Aquila and the Abruzzo region were damaged by the April 6, 2009, temblor.

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