The Prosecutor’s Office has sued the mayor of Calella (Barcelona), Montserrat Candini, leader of the PDeCat, and three journalists for breaking up contracts related to the town hall’s communication service and a campaign to promote tourism in the municipality. The Public Ministry accuses the mayor of embezzlement, prevarication and false documentation.
In his complaint, which has already been admitted by a court in Arenys de Mar (Barcelona), the Prosecutor’s Office states that between 2018 and 2021 Candini signed “successive communication contracts” with two journalists “infringing the regulations”, since he sought to cover with minor and direct contracts “permanent needs” of the consistory that required a public tender with several offers.
Both communicators recognized before the agents of the anti-corruption unit of the Mossos d’Esquadra who carried out the previous investigation that they had worked for the communication area of the Calella town hall “not as labor personnel but chaining minor administrative contracts”, highlights the prosecutor.
The problem came when both journalists demanded that Candini collect the extra hours that the council owed them for a tourist campaign in the municipality called “És Calella”. It was then, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, when Candini and the boss of both journalists, Carles F., administrator of a communication consultancy, agreed that the company would pay the workers for overtime and then the council would return it through another minor contract.
The result was that the council awarded a contract of less than 15,064 euros to the consultant whose purpose was to “evaluate” the communication campaign that the company itself had designed. Weeks before, the prosecutor details, the workers provided the companies with invoices for the same amount.
Carles F.’s company, adds the prosecutor, “lacks its own infrastructure and workers” `to carry out the evaluation of the tourist campaign. Moreover, the document about it, as detailed in the complaint, was sent by Carles F. to a member of the consistory at 1:59 p.m., just an hour and a half after being created on his computer. The Prosecutor’s Office highlights that it was a document designed solely to mask the payment of overtime, and describes it as “a job of very low technical complexity and that does not require more than one day of work despite its high cost.”