State Comptroller Steers Away From Corruption Probes

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman intends to put an end to the corruption probes such as the one that alleged misuse of state funds by Sara Netanyahu, Channel 13 reported.

“Under me there will be no report such as the catered meals report,” Englman told the official who drafted the report which led to prosecution of the prime minister’s wife that generated headlines for months.

She was convicted in June of illegally taking advantage of a mistake in ordering catering services, and was made to pay a fine of NIS 55,000 ($15,210).

Englman, who was appointed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu four months ago, has laid plans for steering the Comptroller’s office back to its less controversial role as the internal critic of the state bureaucracy. To that end, he intends to shut down the team that has been tasked with investigating corruption, according to the report.

The last two comptrollers, Micha Lindenstrauss and Yosef Shapira, had transformed the office into an aggressive anti-corruption body. As such, it won plaudits from NGO watchdogs and opposition critics of the Netanyahu governments.

The State Comptroller’s Office, which is also the government’s office for public complaints, serves as an arm of the Knesset and has authority to examine all agencies of government, even the most secretive.

The office expanded significantly, chiefly during Lindenstrauss’s tenure, when it increased the scope of its activities, employing hundreds of attorneys and accountants to ferret out inefficiency and wrongdoing.