Rome's embattled mayor has been indicted on a charge of making false statements regarding a City Hall appointment, but prosecutors shelved a more serious charge of abuse of office.

Mayor Virginia Raggi expressed satisfaction Thursday that the more serious charge had been dropped "after months of mud-slinging."

The investigation had been a blow to the reputation of Italy's populist 5-Star Movement and its highest office-holder. The movement's founder, Beppe Grillo, said he was happy that Raggi "was able to demonstrate her innocence."

The investigation involved the appointment of Renato Marra as director of Rome's tourism department. Marra's brother headed city hall's personnel office until he was arrested in a corruption probe last month. Raggi has said that she alone decided the appointment.