Troubles deepen for Rome mayor Virginia Raggi

Environment councillor Paola Muraro may be under fresh investigations, newspapers report.

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has run into fresh problems following newspaper reports that embattled executive city councillor for the environment Paola Muraro may be under investigation for abuse of office.

Muraro is already being probed for suspected unauthorised waste management during her 12 years as as a consultant for city waste disposal utility AMA.

Raggi has so far defended her environment councillor against critics within her own Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S), but confirmation of a new investigation would likely make the position untenable.

The reports came the day after it emerged that Rome’s accountant-general, Stefano Fermante, has quit for undisclosed reasons.

Raggi has been hit by a stream of resignations even before completing her executive three months after being elected as Rome’s first woman mayor in June.

She is finding it particularly difficult to fill the position of budget councillor after her third pick for the job, state audit court magistrate Salvatore Tutino, pulled out in late September “because of the climate inside the party that is meant to support the Rome executive”.

“Even people motivated by good intentions, and serious people like Raggi, cannot do much if they are not put in the best conditions to do so," Tutino told Italian news agency ANSA.

Raggi has taken on the city’s budget portfolio following the resignation of Marcello Minenna at the end of August and a sudden backtracking in the appointment of Raffaele De Dominicis, the mayor’s second pick for the job, shortly before it emerged that the former prosecutor general at the Lazio Audit Court was under investigation for abuse of office.

Laura Clarke