The judge investigating potential corruption in the case of the leader of the Partido Popular in Orihuela, Pepa Ferrando, has ordered proceedings against one of the private companies involved, who may have received work assigned by the politician when she was the councillor for culture in the municipality.
It is alleged that rather than putting contracts out to public tender, the work was split and shared amongst other companies, the award for work which would then fall within the financial limits of requiring to go to public tender, and could be assigned by a councillor freely.
Now, according to reports, the judge is calling for a financial and tax investigation into a company named “Pepa Ferrando Protocolo & Eventos SL”, a design and events management company of which the accused councillor is believed to be involved, along with her sister.
The court notes state that the judge has asked that the Economic Crime Unit and the Prosecutor of the National Police investigates the company in order to ascertain whether there was a possibility that they could have received orders for work from the council.
However, this is just an investigation, with no evidence at this time to suggest wrongdoing, as the company was formed in 2007, whereas the case in which Ferrando is being investigated was when she was the councillor for culture, between 2008 and 2011, and she is not thought to have had any active role within the company which bears her name during that period.
Along with Ferrando, the representative of nine companies are under investigation as part of the FITUR exhibition case, many of which seemed to share both a geographical location and, in some cases, board members or partners.
They are facing criminal charges of malfeasance, embezzlement, fraud and possible bribery. Ferrando has always denied the existence of anomalies and stressed that the case will simply serve to prove her innocence, as those who accused her did not understand the recruitment process and argued that she simply followed the recommendations of two of her advisers, who, according to Ferrando, made contact with the representatives of these companies to commission the work.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43854/