The mayor of Orihuela, Pepe Vegara, has appointed a new Comptroller – accidental – while the Comptroller, Carmen Corral, is absent from her job for personal reasons.

Her functions will now fall to Eduardo Gabriel Rodríguez, an employee at the City Council for years and a Group A1 career civil servant, one of the necessary conditions to be able to occupy this position.

Rodríguez was in charge of coordinating and managing the Edusi funds during the mandate of the PP and Ciudadanos with Emilio Bascuñana as the mayor. He was also head of the Local Economic Promotion Service and technical director-coordinator of Edusi-Orihuela, a project to revitalize the urban belt between the neighbourhoods of San Antón, San Isidro and Capuchinos, with a total budget of 23, 6 million euros.

Previously, he was accused by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office for “mendaciously managing”, according to the accusation, “public contracts to Favor business interests in interventions and large events”; specifically, for alleged irregularities in the contracting of the Sentidos Divinos gastronomic exhibition, held in 2007.

The prosecutor requested a sentence of two years in prison and seven years of disqualification for the former president of the PP in Orihuela, Pepa Ferrando; the former Tourism Councilor, Paz Chazarra, as well as Rodríguez himself.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office considered that the three hatched a plan to use Ferrando’s company, Pepa Ferrando Protocolo y Eventos SL, to organize the event, however Rodríguez was acquitted.

Now, his main function will be to unclog the budgets, Vegara’s top priority so that the municipality does not become debilitated. The accounts have been carried over from 2018, and the new budgets were paralysed sine die until the return of the Comptroller, who had also held them back by requesting that her salary and that of the Treasurer be equal to that of the Secretary.