Enrico Sagesse, the head of the Italian Space Agency ASI (Agence Spatiale Italienne) and a driving force in decision making at the European Space Agency (ESA), has tendered his resignation. Sagesse states that he is resigning in order to defend his reputation over allegations of bribery and corruption within the Italian aerospace industry. Specifically, an investigation has found alleged impropriety in the award of contracts in which ASI was the controlling authority. Sagesse’s resignation has now been accepted by Italy’s university and science minister, Maria Chiara Carrozza. Space News reports that as interim measure, Aldo Sandulli, a law professor from Naples University, has been appointed as a temporary head of the Italian Space Agency.
Comment by David Todd: It remains bizarrely unfair that those in high office are usually either forced to resign, or feel that they have to, in order to defend themselves from allegations of illegal activity. For even those that do eventually manage to prove their innocence are rarely able return to their former positions. – no matter how effective they were in their jobs.