The prosecutor in former Minister Haim Ramon's "kiss affair" trial was chosen as the Tel Aviv District Attorney yesterday.
Ariela Segal-Antler, 54, got the nod from the Public Service Commission's examination board, despite a damaging state comptroller report which found her conduct in the Ramon case was "realistically negligent."
Segal-Antler overcame contender Refael Levi, one of the most senior prosecutors in the district, who is known for his professionalism and was considered by many colleagues the most natural candidate for the post. Sources in the district attorney's office told Haaretz Levi is now considering retiring from the prosecution altogether.
Also-rans for the nomination included Gal Israel Levertov, director of the International Affairs Department at the State Attorney's office, and attorney Orly Ginsberg Ben-Ari, from the district attorney's office.
The committee said it found Segal-Antler to be the most suitable for the position at this time. Segal-Antler, married and mother of two, joined the district attorney's office in 1985 after graduating from Tel Aviv University. She has served across the spectrum of criminal law, from rape to white collar cases and much in between.
In June 2009, she became a senior supervisor at the district attorney's office.
The committee took into consideration both the state comptroller's report, which was critical of many officials involved in the kiss affair trial, including Segal-Antler, as well as an opinion by Deputy Attorney General Malkiel Balas, who effectively cleared Segal-Antler of blame.
Balas wrote last month that no disciplinary or administrative action should be taken against those involved in the kiss affair, and that there was no reason to bar Segal-Antler's promotion to district attorney.
Both Segal-Antler and departing District Attorney Ruth David have appealed to the Supreme Court against State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, arguing that contrary to the report, no rule or regulation was broken in regard to wiretapping in the kiss affair case.
In August, the committee agreed to postpone the meeting at which it was supposed to have picked David's successor, to wait for Balas' opinion on disciplinary and administrative measures that should be taken against Segal-Antler.
The committee was chaired by retired Judge Issak Ravivi, and included State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, retired Judge Edna Bekenstein and Gadi Shiloh, representative of an association of prosecutors.
A number of lawyers in the district attorney's office protested over the past days that Lador spoke to no attorneys to hear their opinion of Segal-Antler's candidacy, and that the committee's choice was known well in advance.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now