Rome mayor defends himself after expense account probe forces him temporarily from office

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Rome's outgoing mayor has denied using public money for private family dinners as he seeks to defend himself from a politicized scandal that may cost him his job.

Mayor Ignazio Marino held a press conference Tuesday after he voluntarily met with Italian prosecutors investigating his use of a city hall credit card. He and his lawyer made it clear he is not under investigation in the case but is merely someone with information to offer prosecutors — an important distinction in Italy.

Marino announced Oct. 8 he was resigning after newspapers documented a half-dozen dinners, totaling a few hundred euros (dollars), that apparently didn't correspond to official business. He said then he would take the 20 days allowed by Italian law to reconsider. He said Tuesday he was still reconsidering.