Background to the investigation
Come on electronic devices to supplies intended for the canteen, including beer. These would be some of the things that the arrested anti-mafia principal would have appropriated, accused of embezzlement and corruption. Several electronic devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets, board games for children still packaged, an audio speaker, a printer, a scanner, as well as a maxi 65-inch television – were seized by the carabinieri of the Eppo Section of the Palermo Investigation Center , as part of the ‘Zen-O Conscience’ operation which led to the arrest of the principal of the ‘Falcone’ school of Zen, her deputy and a professional.
And among the supplies destined for the school canteen and purchased with public funds and which the principal, Daniela Lo Verde, would take home, there was even beer. “Do you want fruit juices? Put them here,” the woman asked her daughter in one of the many conversations intercepted by the carabinieri. “Even the Corona”, the girl replied, while the bugs recorded the noise of glass bottles. A conversation, we read in the ordinance with which house arrest was ordered for the school principal, which highlights “the premeditation on the part of the principal of wanting to use the funds destined for the purchase of supplies at her pleasure and for her personal interest of food and drinks for the canteen of the ICS “G. Falcone”. In fact, it appears at least questionable – the investigators explain – that, among the supplies ordered from the Eurospin company to be allocated to the school canteen, the purchase of alcohol may also be included ” .
“I want to bring some pancakes with me”, the girl also said to her mother. And the principal immediately replied: “No, there are some at home, leave them here for now. There isn’t even room at home. You can take the glasses of tea if you want”, she added. “We got the cheese fries, didn’t we?” “There was no room!” replied the principal.
A “murky reality” and “a despotic management of public affairs”, a former teacher of the Falcone institute told investigators. The operation that led to the arrest of Daniela Lo Verde and her deputy was triggered right from her complaint. Statements from which “a murky reality and a despotic management of public affairs by the principal would emerge, unquestionable – except for the danger of retaliation – and accustomed to violating the rules of any kind, from those relating to the health emergency to those management of projects financed by the European Union”, reconstructs the investigating judge in the order with which he ordered house arrest.
According to what the teacher denounced, for example, the projects, always unanimously approved, were not implemented in a “diligent and complete manner”. In particular, the teachers allegedly collected the pupils’ signatures on the attendance sheets ex post, “since these were not affixed at the same time during the hours of carrying out the financed activities, since they were deserted by the boys, especially in the afternoon slot”. Affixing of posthumous signatures, but not only. There would also be inflated bills. The professor, writes the investigating judge in the ordinance, denounced having learned from a colleague “that the school had received an important allocation of funds, for an amount of around 9,000 euros, for the purchase of new equipment for the gym and that , however, the invoices had been inflated, so that the few tools transferred to the premises of the Institute had been purchased with a minimal part of the funds available, while the remaining part of the money had been spent on private purchases of clothing and footwear for management”.