The regional councilor of the Brothers of Italy denies the seriousness of the episode, which took place yesterday afternoon at Palazzo Ferro Fini, during a break in work, in a small sofa outside the regional council chamber. Call the group leaders. Governor Zaia: “Facts need to be clarified”
A regional councilor of Veneto, Joe Formaggio (Fdi), was accused of sexual harassment against a colleague, the Northern League Milena Cecchetto, during a break outside the council chamber. The episode, as reported by the local newspapers, took place on the afternoon of Tuesday 7 March at Palazzo Ferro Fini, seat of the Regional Council, in the anteroom, in a small sofa where the two sat down and talked for a few moments . At that juncture there would have been some unwelcome contacts by Formaggio towards Cecchetto. “I express closeness to the councilor, whom I heard early this morning. At this point, it is good that the facts are fully clarified, in everyone’s interest,” said the president of Veneto, Luca Zaia.
Cecchetto: “What happened is unspeakable”
“In my life, politically and personally – declared the Northern League councilor – I have always been able to defend myself. We all know the exuberant character of Joe Formaggio: what happened today, however, is unspeakable and unacceptable. I am very disappointed and embittered by a behavior like this: having been colleagues as mayors before and today as councilors does not justify such aggressive and impetuous behavior. Every woman has her own boundary of respect and sensitivity: today I am baffled because my colleague has exceeded that limit with me “.
Cheese: “Slaps on the butt? Fake”
For his part, Formaggio former mayor of Albettone (Vicenza), already known for provocative utterances and attitudes (recently, during a visit to an arms fair in Verona he had himself portrayed while holding a machine gun) denied the seriousness of the episode: he admitted that he “pushed” Cecchetto down on the sofa, “but she was calm, I took her place. Then I left, a kiss on the cheek, as always. Harassment? False”. In the evening he added: “I apologize to my colleague Milena Cecchetto if there has been any verbal misunderstanding or misinterpreted gesture and I categorically reject any accusation of physical harassment reported by the press. I hope to meet my friend Cecchetto as soon as possible in order to definitively deflate this absurd affair”. Then he added:” I want to remind you that we have been collaborating together for more than 14 years in politics, first as mayors and now as regional councilors, always with the utmost respect and mutual esteem. I am sure that this misunderstanding will not affect our relationship collaboration and fraternal friendship”.
The Bureau will look into the case
Today Alberto Villanova has received “solidarity and our maximum support for his colleague. What happened yesterday – he declared – cannot be tolerated. No one, least of all another colleague, representative of the institutions, can afford to be disrespectful to a colleague. All the more woman, all the more on the day dedicated to women, an important date like that of March 8 “. Full solidarity with Milena Cecchetto also from party colleagues and from the Lega-Liga Veneta council group. Meanwhile Ciambetti has convened the Bureau which will examine the affair. “Beyond any other consideration – underlines the president of the Regional Council – the serious fact remains of a regional councilor who felt offended and harassed, a victim, like too many women, of unacceptable behavior that violates every ethical rule, the rules of civil coexistence and mutual respect that are the basis of our community. On a personal basis, I express my closeness and solidarity with my colleague”.