The CEO of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, Yoav Rafael, screamed at Kahlon’s drivers for testifying in an investigation against Kahlon’s aide, sources in the Finance Ministry told Haaretz. Rafael called the drivers “informers” and “state witnesses” over the telephone and raised his voice, said the sources.
The Civil Service Commission is investigating Lihi Golan, a close personal aide to Kahlon. She allegedly gave the car she received for her government job to her 21-year-old brother, Ilai, who used it for his own personal and business uses – at the government’s expense, including for the gas he used. Ilai Golan is suspected of using the car to provide rides for money.
The treasury noticed the excessive use of the car and its huge gas bills, and the ministry’s comptroller twice warned that Golan’s gas bills were unreasonably high.
The affair was exposed last month when Ilai Golan totaled the car in an accident and the insurance company was notified.
Two of the main witnesses in the case are Kahlon’s drivers, who drove Lihi Golan every morning and evening to and from her home in Haifa, near where Kahlon lives. She moved to Haifa after taking the job to be near Kahlon. The drivers testified as to Golan’s whereabouts at various times, when the car was documented as being at other locations, such as when it was filled up at gas stations far away from her.
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The Civil Service Commission will summon Golan for questioning later.
Rafael, who is friendly with Golan, reprimanded the drivers for cooperating with the investigation. Golan worked for Kulanu after working for Kahlon in the Economy Ministry and before joining the Finance Ministry.
Rafael told Haaretz in response to questions: “Write what you want.” Later the spokesman for Kulanu said the claims were ridiculous and Rafael was good friends with the drivers and would continue to be friends with them for many years.