Saturday, April 1

The National Court confirms a sanction against the former chief prosecutor of Ourense who lived for 10 years in an apartment paid by the Xunta

The National Court has confirmed in a sentence the sanction imposed by the State Prosecutor’s Office on the former chief prosecutor of Ourense Florencio Delgado for “abusing” his position to live in an apartment that, for more than 10 years, was paid by the Xunta. The Galician Government assumed that rent after an agreement of 2004 -in force for five years-. With the measure, he argued that certain places were made more attractive and it was avoided that they were left unfilled. The resolution is collected by the newspaper Praza, which reports that it was Delgado himself who had sent the Galician Government a letter proposing to rent the flat. In 2007, during the PSdeG and BNG bipartisanship, the decision was made to change that policy and the prosecutor was asked to vacate the house at the end of that year, something that did not happen. The contract was not finally terminated until 2016. In addition, the prosecutor promoted a process against the high official of the Xunta who signed the requirements for him to leave the apartment, despite the fact that he should have abstained “since his objectivity was compromised.”

The chief prosecutor of Ourense, investigated for the case of his unpaid housing, obtains a place in Madrid

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The sanctions imposed were two suspensions of employment and salary -one of them for one year and the other for six months- for two very serious offenses of abuse of the prosecutor’s status to achieve favorable treatment and for failing to comply with the duty to abstain in a process since he had a direct interest. The ruling of the National High Court, dated January 19, dismisses Florencio Delgado’s appeal and confirms the sanctions.

The prosecutor did not respond to the requests sent from the General Secretariat of Heritage of the Xunta, which insisted that he leave the apartment. Florencio Delgado initially responded by refusing and warning the Galician Government that “any action(s) by means of de facto tending to pressure an eviction (such as supply cuts)… will be understood as coercion in the strict sense and will originate the exercise of all the actions that legally correspond to those presumed responsible”. When he was sanctioned by the Prosecutor’s Office, the resolution considered that he “ignored” the notices and “continued to use the aforementioned home.” After new requirements from the Galician Government -after the rental contract ended in 2009-, in 2016 Delgado replied with a sheet “with the official seal of the Prosecutor’s Office”. In that communication he warned the person responsible for Patrimony of “criminal and civil actions” against him.

The judgment of the National High Court indicates that, initially, that Delgado enjoyed the house provided free of charge by the Xunta was a “legitimate” situation, but that “becomes abusive from the very moment in which he is officially informed and repeatedly that this situation is considered over”. The text indicates that it “fully” shares the Prosecutor’s assessment when she sanctioned Delgado: that his conduct “compromised the image of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the province of Ourense.

In addition to refusing to leave the apartment, in 2018 he launched a lawsuit against the Xunta’s General Secretary of Patrimony – who signed the requirements for him to hand over the keys – and another high-ranking official in the case of a woman who lived in an apartment owned by the Xunta and denouncing a lack of maintenance. This person denounced the Galician Government before the Ourense Prosecutor’s Office for an alleged crime of real estate coercion so that she would leave the house that she had rented with an old rental contract. The ruling of the National High Court indicates that the rules for sharing the work of the Ourense Prosecutor’s Office established that the case would have to correspond to another prosecutor, but Delgado took it on “despite the clear conflict of interest that affected him” and “directing personally” the proceedings “in the interest of maintaining the use of the dwelling”. This case of alleged real estate harassment ended up being archived by the Justice in criminal proceedings, but the Xunta was sentenced in the contentious-administrative for the lack of maintenance of the building.

The situation of the prosecutor’s home was made public in 2019 and the Prosecutor’s Office, after opening the sanctioning procedure, removed him from office. In May of that year he obtained another position in Madrid. According to Praza, Delgado was also suspended for hindering an urban complaint against Manuel Cabezas, former mayor of the PP in Ourense. The case was tried this year and the former councilor was acquitted, although the decision has been appealed.