Trying Times for Mayor

All in all, the Mayor has come off pretty well, as far as ‘dates with the judge’ go this month. Although he was ordered to pay 1,600 euros for having insulted Rocío Palacios, the judge did not consider that the incident warranted criminal consideration; i.e., nobody was going to jail for it. The Secretary General of the PSOE, who the Mayor suggested had biblical knowledge of Rocío Palacios, said upon hearing the finding that he would donate his indemnity money to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
But on a wider front, Benny has been winning. ALM CampingThe case that Fermín Tejero brought against him fizzled out. Fermín (sole IU councillor) and co-owner of the Carambolo campsite on the N-340 between Almuñécar and Taramay, had reported the Mayor for harassment over his campsite installation, alleging that the constant stream of municipal inspectors was the result of his refusal to sell the extensive camping area to make way urban expansion.
The judge in charge of the appeals court found in favour of the Mayor, who had previously been found guilty of harassment. The Mayor’s defence lawyer appealed against the decision and the judge accepted it. The Mayor always complained that his case had been dealt with by an inexperience substitute female judge, who was filling in. The new court finding considered that the alleged offence was a civil matter and not a criminal one, as filed by the accusation.
Next we come to a case levelled by the Partido Popular against the Mayor over the building of the P-4 gasoline station. The Provincial Court has ordered a ‘provisional’ dismissal of the case – I don’t know how you can have a provisional one, but there you go. The prosecution claimed that the installation had been erected on green-belt land, or at least non-building land, whereas Judge Aurora González agrees with the Municipal Surveyor’s report that argues the opposite.
On to the next! In March last year an Almuñécar judge found the Mayor guilty of ‘judicial disobedience’ for not implementing a court order to halt work on the construction of the 5-star hotel in Santa Cruz. The appeals court in Granada accepted the Mayor’s appeal. The appeals judge based her decision, amongst other things, upon a Guardia Civil report that confirmed work remained halted on site ever since the inspectors from the Junta de Andalucía made a visit in May 2007.
Is the Mayor out of the woods? Not by a long way, because no soon does he win a case, or a breather in a case, then another one crops ups. For example, the Regional Ombudsman – somebody very slow to anger – accused the Mayor of deliberately dragging his feet on administrative and judicial matters (basically, solicited municipal paperwork). The Almuñécar law courts have finally reached the hearing stage of the legal procedure on the 11th of January.
In the meantime, on the 29th – precisely the day that we go to the printer, the Mayor will be taking the accused stand to answer charges of harassment, regarding the private company that used to run the local TV station before Benny allegedly changed the locks and cut off the electricity supply. Apparently, there can be no appeal against the judges finding, this time, as it is an appeal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *