December 3, 2014 / 3:49 PM / in 3 years

Adviser to France's Hollande resigns after fraud accusations

PARIS (Reuters) - An adviser to French President Francois Hollande resigned on Wednesday after being summoned to answer charges of fraud by a Paris criminal court, the second Hollande ally to step down in the last month.

Faouzi Lamdaoui, closed advisor of French President Francois Hollande, walks up stairs as he arrives for a meeting at Socialist party's candidate former campaign headquarters in Paris in this May 10, 2012 file picture. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

Faouzi Lamdaoui, an equality and diversity advisor with close ties to Hollande, is suspected of misusing corporate assets, money laundering and forgery from 2007 to 2008 related to a transport company he founded, the Paris prosecutor’s office told Reuters.

The presidential palace confirmed his resignation in a brief statement.

Lamdaoui did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The case against Lamdaoui, Hollande’s chief of staff during his 2012 election campaign, could further erode the president’s campaign promise to run an “exemplary Republic”. Since then, Hollande’s approval score has fallen to the lowest of any French leader in the past 50 years.

That pledge took its biggest hit last year when Hollande’s former budget minister, Jerome Cahuzac, resigned over revelations that he had secret bank accounts in Switzerland.

This year, Hollande’s main political strategist quit over accusations of past conflict of interest linked to his work for pharmaceutical firms, while a junior trade minister resigned after it emerged he did not pay income taxes for three years.

Most recently, the junior minister for veterans affairs resigned in November after being accused of favoring relatives in the awarding of public contracts.

Reporting by Chine Labbe and Elizabeth Pineau. Writing by Alexandria Sage; editing by Ralph Boulton

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