Francico Javier Guerrero, the former Andalusia labor chief who is being held in preventive custody, said he feels he is being targeted as “an easy jail fall guy” for a massive layoff scandal in which people allegedly collected unemployment benefits from a public fund even though they did not qualify to do so.
Guerrero, who was ordered to be detained on Saturday by a judge investigating the series of allegedly fraudulent redundancy payments made from the public fund, told the court in his sworn statement that he believes those who received money from the regional government, including his mother-in-law, deserved to receive the assistance.
“I didn’t question whether it was legal for her to get the money because she fulfilled all the requirements, as with the rest of the workers,” Guerrero said in his statement, obtained by EFE on Sunday.
Judge Mercedes Alaya ruled that Guerrero diverted public money for his own personal use and “permitted the enrichment of certain people” over the rest of Andalusia’s residents. She added that Guerrero was a flight risk. His detention followed three days of testimony regarding the layoff scam, in which money was allegedly siphoned off from a 647-million-euro fund set up by the regional government to finance early retirement packages and give assistance for companies to sack workers.