The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency (AVA) has concluded an investigation that proves that, during the mandate of the popular former mayor of Callosa de Segura Francisco Javier Pérez Trigueros, the consistory paid a total of 187,885 euros in 548 invoices for water quality control analytics to the husband of the then municipal secretary, without any hiring file. The investigations began after the ‘tip’ of an “alert person”
The official, who held an accidental position for two decades, resigned a little less than a year ago, as published by the newspaper Informationhiding behind the fact that the current mayor, the popular Manuel Martínez Sirvent, carried out a “constant obstruction” of his work (the council, on the other hand, maintained that the resignation took place after having claimed the position by a national enabler).
As there is no contract, “it has not been possible to verify”, explains the AVA, that the professional complied with the obligations required by the Sanitary Surveillance Program for Water for Human Consumption established by regional criteria. The payments lasted between 2003 and 2014.
Anti-fraud considers that there was “lack of planning and due diligence” to tender the contract, “totally lacking the necessary legal support.” Thus, the provision of the service, “without the people in charge of the Callosa de Segura City Council adopting measures to correct it”, is null and void “because it is contrary to the legal system and to the basic rules of the budgetary system that regulate carrying out public spending.
The variation in the price of the analytics “presumably has been able to imply an economic loss for the public coffers” since the commission did not have competitive competition or a price comparison. In addition, the AVA also reproaches the municipal secretary for not refraining as the contractor was her spouse, despite the fact that she had the legal obligation to do so due to the “conflict of interest situation”.
There was “a clear cause for abstention in any administrative procedure that affected her spouse”, says the AVA report, which emphasizes that “in the case of her husband, the secretary and accidental intervener should have refrained from participating in all administrative procedures, both in those referring to contracting files, as well as to the phases of budget execution for the recognition of obligations and payment of invoices”.
The official has caused an “irregular situation” and “has not acted when she was obliged to act”, which implies, according to Antifraud, disciplinary consequences.
Granting of a planning license
In addition, the man also requested the granting of an urban planning license for some reforms in a house and Antifraud has verified that the works were carried out beyond what was approved, including the construction of a swimming pool.
Although, adds the AVA, the municipal inspector’s report did not detect that the reforms were not covered by the license. The municipal secretary of the City Council of Callosa de Segura who signed, together with the Councilor for Works and Town Planning, the decree granting the building license was a relative of the promoter. In the case of the building license, the report also highlights that the official should have abstained when it was granted to a first-degree relative.
The AVA urges the council to review ex officio the payment of expenses for the water quality analytical service and to quantify the damage caused (“it must be proven that the amounts paid correspond to the market value,” it says). “Likewise, the responsibilities of all kinds that correspond to the personnel and authorities at the service of public administrations that could be responsible for this action must be cleared up,” he adds.
In addition, Antifraude also urges the City Council of Callosa de Segura to initiate a file to protect urban legality on the reform works to verify if they comply with the license that was granted to the husband of the municipal secretary.