Compensation investigation: the mayor of Cholet placed in police custody

The mayor of Cholet Gilles Bourdouleix (various right), 61, was taken into police custody on Tuesday January 11 as part of an investigation into the calculation of allowances for elected officials and the town hall was searched, AFP learned with the Angers public prosecutor’s office. “Gilles Bourdouleix, the director general of services and the deputy director general have been in police custody since this morning in the compensation file”, declared to AFP the public prosecutor of Angers Eric Bouillard, confirming information from the local media.

“We returned to the search at the town hall of Cholet, there had already been a search on August 18, we were missing a few elements”, added the magistrate. Police custody continued in the early evening, the prosecutor then said in a statement. Questioned by AFP, he added: “We will not have finished this evening”.

Three investigations already opened last year

Three preliminary investigations, entrusted to the judicial police of Angers, were opened in 2021 concerning the town hall of Cholet for misappropriation, illegal taking of interest, breaches of the regulations on weapons and forgery and use of forgery. The police custody and the search are part of the investigation for “embezzlement and embezzlement of public funds (and complicity in these offences), initiated in June 2021 by the Angers prosecutor’s office following the complaint of the Anticor association”, specified the prosecutor in his press release.

The association had written a complaint “to denounce the calculation of the allowances of the elected officials of the city of Cholet and the exceeding of the maximum envelope” and, according to the calculations of Anticor, “the overpayment amounts to more than 900,000 euros”, adds the prosecution. Questioned by AFP, the prosecutor clarified that he could only go back, as part of the investigation, six years before the complaint, i.e. until June 2015. Anticor’s calculations, which go back to them until to 2008, report an overpayment of 2.5 million euros.

Two other investigations were launched in the first quarter of 2021. A first for irregular use of weapons during a period in the municipal police of Cholet and a second for a call for tenders concerning the village hall of Cholet, in 2020, had indicated the Angers prosecutor’s office to AFP. Gilles Bourdouleix has been mayor of Cholet (53,000 inhabitants) since 1995.

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