Union’s David Beaton: PI hired in an attempt to gather information on Poraz. Claims contacts with him terminated after they found out about Paritzky’s interest in Poraz.

The workers’ union of Israel Electric Company (IEC) was responsible for hiring the private investigator in the affair that has already been named the Paritzky affair.

Acting union leader David Beaton admitted last (Thursday) night during an interview with Maariv that he was the one who hired the PI in an attempt to gather information on then MK Avraham Poraz. Since the death of Union Chairman Yoram Overkovitch, Beaton has been serving as the union’s leader.

At the time, while Poraz led a campaign against the perks the workers received, especially free unlimited electricity, the union led a battle against the former Finance Committee chairman’s intentions. According to Beaton, Overkovitch asked him to check if Poraz has political or personal interests regarding the battle he waged.

“We believed Poraz’s enthusiasm exceeded the norm. Our objective was to defend the interests of the workers of the IEC who stood to lose from his actions”.

Beaton added that the matter was kept secret at Overkovitch’s request and has not been brought to the attention of today’s union leadership, which denied any involvement in the Paritzky affair.

However, Beaton denied the claims he had met with Paritzky or anyone on his behalf. “We had nothing to do with Paritzky’s interest in Poraz. As soon as we found out, we immediately ceased any contacts with the PI”.

Yesterday, Shinui nominated MK Ilan Shalgi as minister instead Paritzky. Shalgi will be named Minister of Science only if Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would win a Knesset majority to approve the appointment. If he fails to win a majority, Sharon would have to appoint a temporary minister instead of Paritzky.

Although Paritzky said he would not submit his resignation because he needs “several days to think it over”, Sharon is expected to dismiss him in any case during Sunday’s cabinet session, following Channel One’s expose in which it was revealed that Paritzky was trying to “pin a case” on fellow party member and Interior Minister Avraham Poraz.

If Paritzky would accept the party’s decision and quit the Knesset as well, Ariela Golan would replace him as Shinui’s 15th MK.

Meanwhile, in a letter of response Attorney General Meni Mazuz wrote to the Movement for Quality Government in Israel regarding Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky, the AG said he plans to examine the media reports to determine whether the affair has criminal aspects.

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