THE conservative mayor of Ronda will be dragged in front of a judge over the alleged embezzlement of tens of thousands of euros of government cash.
Maria de la Paz Fernandez Lobato is to be grilled about her former role as president of the public cleaning company Soliarsa, which is currently under investigation.
The Guardia Civil probe relates to a series of suspicious ‘incidents’ at the firm between 2017 and 2020, when Fernandez Lobato was one of two presidents of its board.
Among them is an alleged expense of €86,817 that cannot be accounted for by any receipts or documents.
According to the court filing, accessed by Diario Sur, there were also ‘hirings that do not comply with the principles of equality, merits and capacity for access to public employment.’
Other alleged ‘incidents’ include salary advances paid in cash, bonuses ‘that were not justified or controlled by anyone’ and an imbalance in the books due to outgoing cash payments without receipts.
The City Council said in a statement: “Maripaz (Fernández Lobato) has been called to testify… as will also happen with the former mayor with the PSOE, María Teresa Valdenebro, in a procedure in which an alleged crime of embezzlement is being investigated.
“She is not accused of having intervened or participated in any specific activity, but rather she is called to testify as being investigated for the objective fact of having been president of the board of directors of the municipal cleaning company, Soliarsa, during the period in question.
“The court is calling for the two people who were presidents of the board of directors.”
It added: “At no time is she accused of having anything to do with the reported circumstances, nor is it even indicated that she had knowledge of them.”