Italy's Lombardy region vice president arrested in corruption probe involving public bids

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Police have arrested the vice president of the Lombardy region in a corruption probe involving public bids for school renovations and local health care sector contracts.

Milan prosecutors said Tuesday that Mario Mantovani, 65, was arrested for investigation of corruption, extortion and interfering in public bids. Two others were also arrested: a close associate in the Lombardy regional government and an engineer who is accused of doing free work on Mantovani's private property in exchange for public contracts.

Prosecutors said the allegations pertain to a period from 2012-2014, during which Mantovani, a longtime regional coordinator for Silvio Berlusconi's party, was mayor of the town of Arconate and an Italian senator.

Mantovani's arrest came as he was scheduled to participate in an event promoting transparency in public administration.