Anti-graft prosecutors arrested Romania’s deputy central bank governor Bogdan Olteanu on Friday, saying they had charged him with accepting 1 million euros ($1.12 million) in 2008 to influence the government over a key appointment.
Olteanu’s lawyer said the deputy governor denied any wrongdoing, but would resign on Monday – the first time such a senior officer in the central bank has been arrested and left his job over such allegations.
“He does not want this respectable institution to be … dragged unjustly in a scandal,” said lawyer Constantin Durgheu.
Olteanu has been one of the central bank’s nine-member board since 2009.
The bank, which holds a rate-setting meeting on Aug. 4, said the investigation would not impede policy-making.
A replacement for Olteanu on the bank’s board must go through parliament, which is currently on summer recess.
Prosecutors said they were investigating allegations that Olteanu received the money from a businessman as payment to persuade the government to appoint someone as administrator of the Danube Delta national park.
They did not go into details on what the unnamed businessman was trying to achieve through the appointment.
About 5.18% of the area of Romania has a protected status (12,360 km²), including the Danube Delta,the largest wetlans in Europe.