The former socialist president of the Diputación de Valencia Jorge Rodríguez and the rest of the accused, some of the PSPV-PSOE, others of Compromís and others close to one or another party, have been acquitted of all the crimes of which they were accused in the Alqueria case. The Provincial Court of Valencia has declared them innocent and has rejected the story of the Public Prosecutor's Office, which claimed that when entering to govern the corporation they had plugged or hired "outside the law" people related or belonging to these parties in positions of "senior management", which would have meant a loss of 1.1 million euros to the public coffers.
The sentence culminates three days of glory for Rodríguez since it comes two days after revalidating his absolute majority at the head of the City Council of Ontinyent with the party Ens Uneix, which he founded after leaving the PSPV-SPOE, and a day after the Electoral Board gave the reason to his new party (Ens Uneix) and granted him by a handful of votes the deputy that can make the left maintain the Diputación de Valencia, the only great center of power that would not lose in the Valencian Community.
The Court points out that "the seams of a contractual modality could be forced that, perhaps, was not the most appropriate for the functions, faculties and powers that the people hired, or some of them, were going to hold." But the ruling emphasizes that "the option for this modality of contracting, is not a flagrant and clamorous legal infraction, as required by the crime of prevarication, nor can it constitute a crime of falsehood."
"We cannot have as accredited that the new structure of Imelsa obeyed the need or willingness to hire certain people as a way to pay favors or grant perks. We believe, rather, that the order was reversed," he says.
In fact, among the justifications that the court admits for these hires is that of "also limiting the powers of these area directors, most likely because of the company's previous disastrous experience." It thus refers to the cases of corruption in the previous stage of the Popular Party at the head of the corporation chaired by Alfonso Rus, some of which have already led to the first convictions and others are pending sentencing.
The brief of the Alqueria case points out the different interpretations that exist in the jurisprudence around this type of contracts and admits the argument of the defenses that those of senior management, due to their temporality, can be more beneficial than labor for institutions. The court confirms that a "complex investigation and a long trial" have not dispelled doubts on this issue. "That is why the evidence practiced allows us to maintain as something possible, not ruled out, that the defendants acted in the belief that the contracts they finally signed were not contrary to the law, or that there was an interpretation of the law according to said contracts," he says.
Anticorruption asked for eight years in prison and 20 years of disqualification for Rodríguez and the rest of the main defendants, among whom were his chief of staff Ricardo Gallego, Agustina Brines (Compromís) and Josep Ramón Tíller (PSPV-PSOE). Now years the ruling, pending possible resources, may allow him to relaunch his career.
From vetoed to desired
Rodríguez was arrested when he was in charge of the Diputación on June 27, 2018 in a large police operation and although he resigned days after his position in the provincial institution he continued to lead the consistory of Ontinyent. In fact, the PSPV-PSOE accepted that the one who had been one of the dolphins indicated as a possible substitute for Ximo Puig would present himself again as a socialist candidate for mayor in 2019 but the federal committee of the Ferraz Street party vetoed him when he was suspended from militancy, which led Rodríguez to set up a new party with which he swept the elections as he has just done now.
After being granted to his party the deputy of his judicial party, Rodríguez is pending to negotiate with what was his party and with Compromís an agreement so that the Diputación remains in the hands of the left.
In this sense, the PSPV-PSOE has celebrated the resolution on the Alquería case and the acquittal of Jorge Rodríguez and the rest of the people involved. The Valencian Socialists point out that "time and justice have demonstrated the honorability of those investigated and their good work during the time they held positions of responsibility in the Valencian institutions," says a statement. In this way, "from the PSPV-PSOE they transfer to the former president of the Diputación de València and current mayor of Ontinyent, Jorge Rodríguez, and the rest of the people involved in this case, their congratulations for the decision of the Justice that has just been known.