DISGRACED former Paphos mayor, Savvas Vergas faces disciplinary measures for misconduct at Nicosia central prisons after reportedly bursting into a rant and threatening a warden on Friday.
Vergas’ request to leave the prison in order to visit his mother, who he claimed suffers from medical problems, was looked upon by various news reports as essentially asking for favourable treatment.
According to several news sources, Vergas’ mother is being treated for lumbago. Trouble erupted when he was informed this was not a serious medical problem, something he did not accept, allegedly throwing a fit and threatening the warden handling the incident.
At some point during their shouting match Vergas is quoted as screaming, “Do you know who you are talking to? I am a mayor; I am a mayor…”
Reports said Vergas exhibited inappropriate behaviour in threatening the warden and stressed that the relevant regulation provides for visits only in critical cases of serious illnesses.
The former mayor was taken to a cell after the incident and the prison management is reported to have said he will face disciplinary measures for the misconduct.
Vergas is serving a six-year jail sentence, having been convicted in February 2015. He was found guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, corruption and bribery, in connection to the Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) scandal.
Vergas was at one point placed in a witness protection programme after he decided to blow the whistle on those implicated – in addition to himself – in a scam where public funds had been used to pay kickbacks to municipal officials by contractors vying for a piece of the SAPA construction and operation action. Ex officio as Paphos mayor, Vergas had also chaired SAPA.
But not long after the lid was blown on the case, Vergas struck a deal with state prosecutors and exchanged his confession, as well as information on others implicated in the scam, with favourable detention terms, which he was granted in the form of being held outside the central prisons.
Vergas was moved to the central prisons in April. Reports at the time said Attorney-general Costas Clerides, having consulted the police, decided on the move.
Vergas had also expressed fears that his life was in danger.