ALHAURIN EL GRANDE Council paid €29,500 in legal fees for mayor Juan Martin Seron and town planning councillor Gregorio Guerra.
The payment was made in March but did not become public knowledge until earlier this week when socialists on the council claimed that the money should be returned.
The payment was above-board, according to the council’s legal department. Town halls are allowed to use public money settle legal costs in cases when an accused employee or councillor is acquitted, a statement explained.
The mayor and councillor faced 13 bribery charges in the Troya corruption case and were acquitted on 12 counts. The fees corresponded to these charges, the mayor said, while further accusations of corruption and money laundering were shelved.
Regarding the bribery charge of which they were found guilty, both men paid their defence lawyers from their own pockets, Seron clarified.
This reasoning was ‘wrong” and “unacceptable”, according to the socialist spokesman, Antonio Cardenas.