Too late, official is exonerated

A public official who was driven to suicide last October – overwhelmed by a political and media storm after she suspended the demolition of illegally-built villas – acted within the law in carrying out her duties, according to a Finance Ministry report made public yesterday. Two ministry inspectors investigated the case during which Rubini Stathea, assistant director of the State Property Service for Eastern Attica, signed papers stopping the partial demolition of four seaside villas in Anavyssos, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Athens. Stathea based her decision on a 1976 court order relating to one of the homes. The inspectors found she was right to do so, concluding that she had acted «within the spirit of proper administration.» Stathea’s action threw her into a political and media storm, causing her to reverse the decision and order the demolition a few days later. She was found dead at the foot of a 20-meter cliff near her holiday home in Keratea on October 13. She was 53. She left several suicide notes explaining that she could not cope with the political and media pressure.

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