Knesset advisor's 'cronyism' must be probed, NGO says
A legal opinion written by Knesset legal adviser Nurit Elstein favored MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima ), a non-governmental organization has alleged.
A legal opinion written by Knesset legal adviser Nurit Elstein favored MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima ), a non-governmental organization has alleged. The Ometz government watchdog plans to ask State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to investigate this opinion.
Haaretz reported Friday that Tirosh, while serving as director general at the Education Ministry, had asked Elstein, then head of the labor disputes department at the State Attorney's Office, to write an opinion on whether Tirosh was eligible to be a candidate for the post of Civil Service Commissioner.
Tirosh asked for the opinion after attorney Ron Dul, counselor at the Civil Service Commission, rejected her candidacy.
According to the Haaretz report, Elstein sent Tirosh a draft of her opinion before it was completed. The note attached to the draft, as well as the signature of Tirosh on the document with her comments, suggested a very friendly relationship between the two women.
On the basis of Elstein's legal opinion, the Education Ministry and Civil Service Commission accepted the recommendation and retroactively approved a leave without pay for Tirosh, essentially creating a continuous record of employment in the Civil Service.
Former attorney general Menachem Mazuz, however, adopted Dul's opinion and rejected the retroactive leave of absence.
Tirosh then won a suit at the Tel Aviv District Labor Court, which brought the matter back for the review of current Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. The Labor Court Judge also expressed criticism of the suspected ties between Tirosh and Elstein.
At the appeal before the National Labor Court, the State Attorney's Office argued that the relationship between the two women is not merely "hearsay" and that it affects the objectivity of the legal opinion.
Ometz attorney Boaz Arad said the way the legal opinion came about demands an investigation on the part of the state comptroller. He added that more cases handled by Elstein should be investigated.
Arad also said he would file a complaint against Elstein with the Israel Bar Association to determine whether her conduct encompassed ethical violations as well.
Elstein rejected yesterday what she described as "false allegations" questioning her honesty and credibility.