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Author Topic: Public funds being used to defend Mayor  (Read 1882 times)

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poolepirate

I pulled this article from the Island Connections website:

Opposition parties in Santiago del Teide are demanding answers from the town's mayor after learning that 35,000 euros have been set aside from council funds to pay private lawyers recruited to defend him in the Los Gigantes beach tragedy case. Juan Gorr?n and one of his team face prosecution for criminal negligence over the deaths of an English and a Spanish holidaymaker who were killed by falling rocks on the Los Gu?os beach in November. An inquiry into the tragedy lays the blame partly on the council for not cordoning off the beach properly despite a previous rockfall incident a few weeks earlier. The hiring of private lawyers using public funds when Santiago del Teide has its own legal team looks set to cause bitter controversy at the next sitting of the council.

I am not happy about having, through my rates, paying the defend the individual concerned but I can only assume that it is the Council that is being taken to court and Juan Gorrin being its elected head is the individual being cited. A difficult one to answer here but one worth discussing.

phoenix

Re: Public funds being used to defend Mayor
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010 »
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  • As I understand it, the Mayor is subject to a criminal investigation. Public money could not be used to pay his fine if one were imposed, so how can public money legitimately be used to fund his defence to criminal charges?   What's the difference?

    If the Mayor is found to be criminally liable in the performance of a public duty  then this would open up the possibility of civil proceedings against the Mayor personally and also against the Council. But any civil liability of the Mayor and the Council  would almost certainly be covered by the Council's insurance so the Council and the Mayor should have no worries about any consequential  civil action for damages.

    The only entity/person  exposed  in this matter is the Mayor to criminal charges and the possibility of a substantial fine or imprisonment. The buck stops with him.

    phoenix

    Re: Public funds being used to defend Mayor
    « Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010 »
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  • Consider this hypothetical situation.  A Council worker employed to drive a bin wagon is involved in a fatal road accident while carrying out his Council driving  duties.  He is then charged with causing death by negligence. Would the Council fund his defence with 35,000 Euros ? 

    It's a stupid question really because we all know the answer but the Council needs to answer it.

    phoenix knight

    Re: Public funds being used to defend Mayor
    « Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010 »
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  • Yes it is a stupid question.

    Here is the sensible answer.

    The council would refer the matter to their public liability insurance

    phoenix

    Re: Public funds being used to defend Mayor
    « Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010 »
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  • You haven't understood the issue brother.  In respect of any civil  claim for damages against the Council they would of course refer the matter to their insurance company, but in respect of the criminal prosecution of their driver for an alleged crime, the driver would have to face the music himself and pay for his own defence and fine.

    If you were right, then in Mayor's case, why has the Council had to set aside 35,000 Euros of taxpayer's money for the Mayor's defence to criminal charges. If you were right, why not simply refer the matter to their insurance company?
    « Last Edit: June 10, 2010 by phoenix »