Sapienza, Siena professors accused of nepotism

Univesity 'La Sapienza' of Rome

ROME- There were no exchanges of money or gifts but, according to Magistrate Fabio Mostarda, a clique of top Italain law and political science academics from the ancient La Sapienza university and other hallowed ivory towers engaged in corrupt practices and collusion by exchanging favours and even recommendations for professorships.

 In this way the professorship of Constitutional Law at the European University of Rome (a private university on via Aldobrandeschi) was assigned without any merit, claims the magistrate.

 The investigation of this shady appointment, which dates back to 2010 but is still very much an open case, uncovered a web of alleged favouritism and corruption made up by five jurisprudence luminaries: Aldo Loiodice, professor of Administrative law at the European University and of Constitutional law at Bari, Michela Manetti, professor of constitutional law at the university of Siena, Luca Mazzetti, professor of constitutional law at Bologna, and two professors of political sciences at La Sapienza of Rome, Beniamino Caravita and Roberto Nania.

 According to the district attorney, Caravita and Nania approached Manetti, a member of the commission in charge of appointing other professors, offering her ‘’a professorship or some other professional position at La Sapienza,’’ if she backed a candidate who was a former student of prof. Loiodice. Accepting such an offer went against Manetti’s duties and responsibilities as a member of the commission, the district attorney claims, according to a report in Il Messaggero newspaper.

 In the meantime, Manetti rejects these accusations, and will defend herself in court assisted by her lawyer and legal counsel Cesare Placanica.

 The investigation began after the Guardia di Finanza phone tapped and intercepted some conversations involving prof. Aldo Loiodice.

 The court now will have to determine whether the appointment was won because of merit and a particular vision, or whether it was determined by the pressures prof. Manetti received.