PARMA, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Italian police said they had arrested the vice chairman of Italy's northern utility Iren <IREE.MI>, Luigi Giuseppe Villani, and three other people in a corruption probe relating to the financing of administrative elections in 2007.
A total of 17 people were being investigated over allegations of misusing public funds for electoral purposes, police said in a statement on Wednesday.
Police said they also seized assets for a total of 3.5 million euros ($4.67 million) as part of the investigations.
Iren, one of Italy's biggest regional utilities, declined to comment.
Police will hold a press conference later on Wednesday.
Shares in Iren were down 1.12 percent at 0914 GMT, while the European utility sector <.SX6P> was down 0.13 percent. ($1 = 0.7492 euros)
(Reporting by Valentina Accardo; Editing by Louise Heavens)