Ex-Anzio mayor exchanged contracts for 'Ndrangheta votes, Rome DDA alleges

De Angelis was removed from office when Anzio's government was dissolved for mafia infiltration in 2022

 ROME — Two years after Anzio’s government was dissolved for mafia infiltration, Rome’s anti-Mafia prosecutors’ office (DDA) has launched an investigation into the seaside town’s ex-mayor and four members of his administration for an alleged ‘Ndrangheta vote-fixing scheme, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported. 

 Candido De Angelis, a former senator and self-proclaimed fishing entrepreneur, served three terms as mayor between 1998 and 2022, and four of his councillors — Giuseppe Ranucci, Cinzia Galasso, Lucia Pascucci, and Gualtiero Di Carlo — allegedly doled out lucrative contracts for cemeteries, beach facilities, and other public works to ‘Ndrangheta-linked firms in exchange for clans’ electoral support. 

 The Madaffari, Perronace, Tedesco, and Gallace families are alleged to have thrown their weight behind the center-right De Angelis administration.

 Rome anti-Mafia prosecutor Giovanni Musarò said in the course of wiretapped phonecalls, clan members and bosses discussed whom they should route votes to before settling on De Angelis and, later, celebrated De Angelis winning Anzio's 2018 mayoral election with 55% of the vote. 

 The announcement of the investigation into De Angelis is new. The storyline, though, has history. 

 In February, 2022, the DDA launched Operation Tritone: a 65-arrest bust-up of alleged 'Ndrangheta infiltration of local governments along the Roman coast. 

 With help from the administrations of Anzio and Nettuno, two seaside towns southeast of Rome, the 'Ndrangheta had "colonized" the fishing and waste management sectors, and operated a large-scale cocaine trafficking ring through the Lazio ports.

 Alleged Madaffari, Perronace, Tedesco, and Gallace associates, plus two carabinieri and a number of locals, were charged with a slate of crimes including mafia-type association, aggravated mafia activity, international drug trafficking, extortion, illegal possession of firearms, fictitious registration of assets, illegal waste trafficking, and disclosure of government secrets. 

 So far 34 suspects have been sentenced to 370 total years of prison time. 

 In November, 2022, after reviewing evidence seized during the Tritone raid and testimony provided after it, the Italian government dissolved Anzio and Nettuno's administrations, sacking De Angelis and his councillors.