Malta’s Standards Commissioner has dismissed claims that Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis put a lawyer on the public payroll to win over Chris Cardona’s former voters.
The investigation was launched by ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopard following an article by The Shift News that claimed Cherly Vassallo was employed by Zammit Lewis to sway Cardona loyalists. Vassallo’s father, Mario Azzopardi, was Cardona’s chief of staff.
However, Commissioner George Hyzler found that Vassallo was employed within the Justice and Equality Ministry well before Zammit Lewis took over.
Vassallo began working in the Equality Ministry in 2016. Her contract has been renewed every year since that. Zammit Lewis became Equality Minister in July 2019.
Zammit Lewis did extend her latest contract. However, Hyzler found that it was at the same rate as her previous contract.
While he did dismiss the claim, Hyzler did raise concern that her position was issued through direct order.
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