Mayor’s righthand man accused of embezzlement

ENCARNACIÓN CORTES, an independent councillor on Benalmadena Council has accused Francisco Salido, the Social Welfare representative of the political party Union Centro Benalmadena (UCB), of concealing documents, peddling influence and embezzling public funds.

The charges centre on the activity of the association Comedor Social de Benalmadena, a soup kitchen, and came to light after the town hall began the process of reclaiming expenses totalling €262,566 which could not be accounted for.

Cortés – who previously belonged to the UCB party but left three months ago – has spoken of her disgust at Mayor Paloma García Galvez’s inaction over Salido’s alleged actions.

She complained that although García Galvez knew firsthand about the discrepancies in the accounts, she decided to continue in her support of her political ally.

In evidence of her claims, Cortés has cited two bills for fruit and vegetables totalling around €12,000 each, which failed to declare VAT, as well as another receipt for €23,000, also without VAT.

For its part, the soup kitchen said that it had presented its books to the court for the tax years of 2011 to 2013. It maintains that the charges are slanderous and based on purely political motives due to the impending town elections.

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