IN 2007 Carlos Pascual, mayor of Pego between 1995 and 2003, received a six-year prison sentence for environmental offences.
Another four-and-a-half years were added for attacking the Policia Local chief but Pascual is now at semi-liberty.
Although found guilty of illegally draining part of the Pego-Oliva marsh, a protected national park, Pascual hopes to join the board of the Comunitat de Regants, an irrigation syndicate of local rice-growers.
Pascual’s wife, a former Partido Popular spokeswoman and mayoral candidate, is the association’s secretary and sources claim that ex-mayor, who attends meetings, is as forceful as ever.
Not all syndicate members are happy at Pascual’s presence and suspect that deep-seated lack of enthusiasm for the marsh’s protected status is growing once again.