Jacques Médecin (5 May 1928 – 17 November 1998) was a French politician. A member of the Gaullist RPR, he served as mayor of the city of Nice from 1966 to 1990. Under suspicion of corruption, he fled France in 1990, but was extradited from Uruguay back to France in 1993, convicted and jailed.
Médecin was born in Nice, the son of an earlier long-serving mayor of the town, Jean Médecin. He studied law in Paris and worked for several years as a journalist. He was elected mayor of Nice in 1966, and its member of Congress the year after (positions he held simultaneously). He served as Secretary of State for Tourism in Jacques Chirac's government during 1976–77.
Médecin was challenged in the first round of the 1977 municipal elections, and accused of links with former members of the OAS terrorist group which, it was claimed, had helped OAS member and notorious bank robber Albert Spaggiari to escape. Later, when Médecin was criticized for positions that were widely seen as racist, he responded that he shared almost "99% of the views" of the far right National Front party, and called the party's leader Jean-Marie Le Pen an "old friend".
In the 1980s Médecin became the target of corruption allegations, following an exposé of judicial and police wrongdoing in Nice by the British novelist, Graham Greene. As accusations of political corruption against him grew through the decade, Médecin fled France in 1990. He was finally arrested in Uruguay in 1993 and was extradited to France in 1994. He was convicted of several counts of corruption and associated crimes and sentenced to prison.
Médecin returned to Uruguay following his release from prison. He died in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in November 1998, of cardiac arrest.
Outside politics, Médecin was the author of a noted book on the cuisine of the Nice region, published in English translation by Penguin Books in 1983, and reissued by Grub Street in 2002. In the context of an article about different philosophies on the preparation of Salade Niçoise, Rowley Leigh, chef and food writer for the Financial Times, wrote of the book: "Things changed in 1983 with the publication of the English translation of Cuisine Niçoise: Recipes from a Mediterranean Kitchen by one Jacques Médecin. In spite of the fact that Médecin was a famously racist mayor of Nice who was extradited from South America in order to face trial on corruption charges, the book, unlike its author, was a delight... However crooked Médecin had been, none of us doubted his cooking."
Secretary of State for Tourism : 1976–1977
National Assembly of France
Member of the National Assembly of France for Alpes-Maritimes : 1967–1988. Elected in 1967, reelected in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1981, 1986.
President of the General Council of Alpes-Maritimes : 1973–1990 (Resignation). Reelected in 1976, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988.
General councillor of Alpes-Maritimes : 1961–1990 (Resignation). Reelected in 1979, 1985.
Mayor of Nice : 1966–1990 (Resignation). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989
Municipal councillor of Nice : 1965–1990 (Resignation). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989.