State inspectors urge President Hollande to hold official inquiry over sacked Elysée advisor

Three weeks after François Hollande's powerful advisor Aquilino Morelle was forced to quit the Elysée following Mediapart's allegations of a conflict of interest, the president is once more caught up in the affair. The leading trade union at the elite public watchdog where Morelle worked while also consulting for the pharmaceutical industry is frustrated at the lack of action from the state and has called on President Hollande to intervene and order a full official investigation. Some of the watchdog’s officials feel they need an inquiry to show they are above suspicion and “transparent” as an organisation. “Our credibility is at stake,” one inspector told Mediapart. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg report.

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Aquilino Morelle may have left his job as President François Hollande's advisor within a day of Mediapart's revelations about a conflict of interest he had while working as a senior public official. But the affair still continues to involve the Elysée. Mediapart can reveal that the main trade union at the elite health and drugs watchdog where Morelle used to work – the Inspection générale des affaires sociales (IGAS) – wrote to the Elysée on Wednesday May 7th urging the president to order a full official inquiry into the affair.

The union, the Syndicat des Membres de l’Inspection Générale des Affaires Sociales (SMIGAS), is surprised that no such investigation has yet been opened, and believes that only by undergoing such a probe can the powerful public watchdog show that it is itself above suspicion. “It would be very shocking if there were not to be an official inquiry,” one inspector, who asked not to be identified, told Mediapart. The union has approached the president directly because all of the elite body's 130 inspectors are appointed by presidential decree, and they believe that ultimately it is down to him to take control of the situation. The second trade union at IGAS, the CFDT, has meanwhile written to the watchdog's boss, Pierre Boissier, calling for an investigation, with a copy sent to the Elysée.