PARIS - The No. 2 in the French government has resigned over reports that he has been living a lavish lifestyle at the expense of France's taxpayers.
Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy said on Tuesday via his verified Facebook page that he submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe ``to defend myself.''
He has been the object of intense criticism since the investigative news site Mediapart revealed that when he served as president of the lower house of parliament he and his wife hosted lavish dinners with friends.
After recently being appointed ecology minister, he reportedly spent some 60,000 euros ($68,000) to refurbish his government apartment.