Councillor on trial in Spain could face prison for ‘verbally contracting’ cleaners

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A former councillor of Rincon de la Victoria is facing two-and-a-half years in prison Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A FORMER councillor of Rincon de la Victoria, Axarquia is facing two-and-a-half years in prison for allegedly not following the rules when hiring a cleaning company.

Jose Antonio Ruiz, the former head of the Department for the Environment at Rincon de la Victoria Council, is accused of abusing his position to bypass normal procedures and offer cleaning contracts to two businesses between 2010 and 2011.  According to prosecutors, Ruiz, “verbally contracted several cleaning services…dispensing with basic administrative rules.”  The contracts totalled €238,222 worth of work.

The heads of the two businesses hired for the work are also on trial, each facing three years and three months in prison. Prosecutors allege the men submitted, “numerous invoices, some of which did not correspond to real and material work.”  Lawyers say the former politician, “proceeded to rubber stamp,” the works, “without carrying out any checks and knowing that the work was unnecessary.”

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One company supposedly submitted invoices totalling €144,119, eventually accepting payment vouchers of €15,347, while the other submitted €141,169 worth of bills and receiving €31,700 in vouchers.

Jose Antonio Ruiz is on trial for “prevarication and other malfeasance.”  In addition to jail time, prosecutors are demanding the former politician be disqualified from public office for eight years.

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