The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, said in a press conference on Friday that the arrest of her head of personnel on corruption charges surprised her, but she also pointed out that the city council has nothing to do with the causes behind the arrest of Raffaele Marra and that she trusted him despite he was part of previous, embattled local government teams. Speaking from the Campidoglio palace, Rome's city hall, Raggi said: "We learned with surprise about the arrest of Raffaele Marra, for facts that do not concern this administration". "I want to make it absolutely clear that the administration will remain in charge and that Marra's arrest is tied to events that don't concern it", she also said.
"We will immediately proceed with replacing Marra", Raggi went on, highlighting that "he was already part of the city adiministration when we arrived". "We trusted him and it was a mistake", she then noted, adding: "He is a technocrat, not a politician". "My right-hand man is the people of Rome", Raggi then said, replying to those who said that Marra was very close to her with his assignment. "We probably made a mistake" with him, "and I am sorry about that, I am sorry for the citizens of Rome, for the Five Star Movement (M5S) supporters and for Beppe Grillo, who expressed his doubts" about Marra, she added.
Raggi finally expressed her "trust in the magistrature". "We will do all we can and, as far as we are concerned, we'll try to shed light on this matter by fully cooperating with the authorities, starting from the investigation on the appointments in this administration", she said. Parma mayor Federico Pizzarotti, elected for M5S and later suspended by the party for an internal dispute, commented on Twitter: "The river bank is starting to get crowded and the bodies of many nice people are floating by in the river". Pizzarotti's words are a quotation of ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, who said: "If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by".