Earlier this week Fréttabladid revealed that the 19 year old daughter of the mayor of Kópavogur was using the car provided by the municipality for her mother, mayor Gudrún Pálsdóttir. The mayor was said to use other cars owned by the town.
Kópavogur is Iceland´s second largest municipality, with almost 31 thousand inhabitants. Situated just south of Reykjavík and by most considered to be a Reykjavík suburb, the town has long been ruled by a coalition of the Independence party and the Progressive party. Former mayor Gunnar Birgisson was forced to resign after his opponents had uncovered that the municipality had done business with a company owned by his daughter.
The current mayor was hired after a new majority took over in 2010. In the story in Fréttabladid mayor Pálsdóttir said that specialists had told her that as long as it was not stipulated in her contract that the car should be used only by her, close family member can also use it.
The president of the town council Hafsteinn Karlsson said that he thought it natural that mayor Pálsdóttir use the car provided to her by the town. “Of course we expect that car to be used for the municipality,” he said.
It was revealed that the daughter had used the petrol station credit card that was provided by Kópavogur, “but only in exceptional cases,” according to the mayor.
After the article was published the mayor issued a statement, saying that hereafter only she will use the car.
“I think it is important that there is no doubt that I have and always will work honestly for the municipality. It is important that I have the full trust of the inhabitants and of the town board. … I view of the fact that I did not have the understanding of how to use the car as the board I have decided that for here on I alone will use the car. I apologize for for interpreting my contract this way,” the mayor said in a written statement.
The town council’s president said that the mayor still had the support and trust of the majority in the council.