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Politician Filmed Slashing Tires of Disabled Man’s Car

Politician Filmed Slashing Tires of Disabled Man’s Car

An Italian politician, Antonio Piazza, did not just park his Jaguar in a parking place designed for individuals with disabilities near his office for three years. This past August, Giuseppe Scuderi, whom the Telegraph describes as a “local man with 85 per cent disabilities,” asked him to vacate the spot. Piazza and Scuderi reportedly argued, the police were summoned and Piazza fined 80 euros.

Scuderi parked his car, a Renault, in the place. Half an hour later, Piazza returned and slashed the tires of Scuderi’s car; he had apparently forgotten that a CCTV camera was filming him.

Piazza, a member of the regional branch of the People of Freedom party which was founded by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, offered to buy Scuderi new tires. He also tried to appeal the fine, saying that he had “given a lift to a disabled person,” says the Guardian. But Piazza has now had to resign from his position as head of Aler, a corporation that manages public housing in Lecco, and also as a senior member of the People of Freedom party.

Indeed, Piazza seems to think it is he who has been wronged. “I made a mistake, but there are people who behave even worse,” he has claimed. His slashing Scuderi’s tires has nothing to do, he insists, with his political career.

But to Italians contending with a worse than predicted recession and an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent, Piazza’s behavior was yet another example of endemic corruption and “arrogance” among government officials. Italy’s politicians have been caught in scandals involving embezzlement and using public money for lavish parties, says the Telegraph. Among these is the recent arrest of the head of a tax-collecting agency, who may have embezzled as much as 100 million euros for use in some decidedly not-on-a-budget galas.

Moreover, a new report cited in the Guardian emphasizes the extent of tax evasion in Italy. Psychologists fail to disclose 40 percent of their earnings and lawyers, 42.7 percent; they make Mitt Romney look as if he’s revealing all, for all his recalcitrance to open up his tax returns.

Even without the ramifications for politics in Italy, I was deeply irked by Piazza’s arrogance and cavalier attitude towards the law and towards individuals with disabilities. There have been too many documented cases of people (including football players from UCLA and basketball player Andrew Bynum) abusing the parking placards and spaces for individuals with disabilities. One person with disabilities whom I know said that she’d rather carry a separate plastic placard and display it when she parked her car than have a wheelchair icon on her license plate, for fear that someone would steal it.

Piazza had a lot of nerve not only to claim that he had attempted to give a person with disabilities a ride, but to say that other politicians have done things “far worse.” Isn’t deliberately ignoring the rights — civil rights, human rights — of anyone and certainly of an individual with disabilities a reprehensible crime in and of itself?

 

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103 comments

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1:55PM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

A politician - so he lied - how unusual......

4:46AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

noted

4:45AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Politicians seem to have forgotten that it is not only us the taxpayer who support them and all the benefits they have, but that we voted them into office. As such politicians no longer represent the people they are too fight for. Most politicos have sold out to the lobbyist! It is up to us to hold them accountable for their wrong doing, and yes "hold their actions" to scrutinity and either demand their removal from office or if applicable legally pursue their wrong doings. Cops are just as BAD they are to respect and honor the citizens and that has also gone by the wayside. So yes we must hold their feet to the fire. Glad the Italians held the bum accountable and got rid of him.

12:46PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Aah...the mentality of the politician.

4:54PM PDT on Oct 24, 2012

Sad how so many people think all the laws and rules are for everyone but themselves! Thanks for article!

8:47AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Had he been a US government official, tax payer dollars would have been wasted protecting his rights and the handicapped individual would have been taken to court for entrapment and slander. Glad to see there is one government in the world willing to do something to a guilty perp no matter how wealthy, powerful or privileged.

4:21AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

I am disabled and have the placard... This occurs all the time where I live, so it doesn't suprise me that an official in any country would do this.. What is worse is when someone had an epensive care and they park slanted so they use 2 handicapped spots to park their car..

12:25PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

There should be NO public official that has a me , me, me mind set in any office.

5:03AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Noted, thanks.

8:59AM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

Arrogant twit, what a horrible individual

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