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Entire Italian city government fired for mafia ties

ROME The Italian government has dissolved the administration of the mafia-plagued southern city of Reggio Calabria after a city counselor was arrested on mafia charges.

Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri announced the decision Tuesday. It came after an investigation into the city administration following the arrest last year of a city counselor on mafia association charges. Calabria is home to the powerful `ndrangheta organized crime syndicate.

Italian law calls for such investigations to determine if there was any possible mafia infiltration in the city administration. Cancellieri said the decision was taken to prevent any "contagion" in the city government.

While smaller city administrations have been dissolved for similar reasons, Cancellieri said this was the first time the administration of a provincial capital had been dissolved. Three commissioners will run the city for 18 months until elections.

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