Sextape blackmail in Saint-Etienne: the mayor fires his chief of staff

Both were taken into custody last week in an intimate video blackmail case that was allegedly exercised against the former centrist first deputy, Gilles Artigues to neutralize him politically.

Gaël Perdriau, the LR mayor of Saint-Etienne and president of his metropolis announced this Tuesday evening his decision to “put an end to the functions” of his chief of staff involved like him in a case of political sex tape blackmail, under investigation in Lyon.

The director of cabinet at the town hall and at the metropolis, Pierre Gauttieri “understood the stakes of this decision and accepted it”, affirms the mayor in a press release.

Both were taken into custody last week in an intimate video blackmail case that was allegedly exercised against the former centrist first deputy, Gilles Artigues to neutralize him politically.

“We benefit from the presumption of innocence”

The case was launched at the end of August by a former close friend of the municipality who made very detailed confessions to the site Mediapart on this “barbouzage of manners” sponsored according to him by the mayor and his entourage.

The judicial inquiry opened in Lyon after a complaint from Gilles Artigues concerns the filming and use of a video shot in January 2015 in which we see this former deputy known for his Catholic commitment and his homophobic positions, being massaged by a man in a hotel room in Paris.

“Pierre Gauttieri, like me and like each of our fellow citizens, benefits from this essential guarantee of democracy which is the presumption of innocence”, affirms the press release from the mayor who has so far denied any involvement in the blackmail.

Gauttieri “shocked with shame”

Pierre Gauttieri who presents the mayor as “a friend” had worked for Alain Madelin (DL) before joining Saint-Etienne.

He is renowned for his angry temper, a defect he publicly highlighted during a recent interview with local television TL7 to justify very embarrassing audio recordings for him. He then ruled out resigning, saying he was “shaken with shame” by the threatening remarks he made during two meetings with the mayor and the former first deputy, in 2017 and 2018.

The departure of this 54-year-old man, considered in Saint-Etienne as the eminence grise of Gaël Perdriau since his election in 2014, had been requested during a meeting of the vice-presidents of the metropolis last week.

Some are also calling for the mayor to be “on leave” from his elective duties while the investigation is being carried out, but he has indicated that he intends to stay in place and is working “with determination”.

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