21 March 2019
The president of the Rome city council and deputy Mayor, Marcello De Vito, was arrested on 20 March as part of an investigation into the construction of a new stadium for Serie A football team AS Roma. Prosecutors accuse De Vito of having taken bribes from Rome builder Luca Parnasi to favour his stadium project in the south-west Tor di Valle suburb. Parnasi was arrested last June over alleged corruption relating to the stadium project. Eight others were arrested along with him.
The mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio distanced themselves from the former top city hall official. The arrest of De Vito came as a blow to both of them. Their 5Stars party which made fighting systemic corruption in Italian politics a signature issue. Raggi has nominated Enrico Stefàno, the current vice president of the city council and president of the city’s transport commission, to succeed De Vito.
Raggi was acquitted in a corruption case, otherwise she would have been forced out of office. The stadium project is a highly charged issue in Rome because the municipality is faced with more urgent problems such as dirty streets, potholes and a dysfunctional public transport system. The Politico reported.