CORRUPTION

PP mayor of Santiago resigns over tax fraud accusations

Conde Roa maintains he did not benefit from non-payment of VAT on real estate deals

Santiago Mayor Gerardo Conde Roa bids farewell at the end of the press conference at which he announced his resignation.
Santiago Mayor Gerardo Conde Roa bids farewell at the end of the press conference at which he announced his resignation. LAVANDEIRA JR (EFE)

The mayor of Santiago Compostela, Gerardo Conde Roa of the Popular Party (PP), handed in his resignation on Monday after he was indicted for tax fraud on charges that he allegedly tried to avoid declaring nearly 300,000 euros he made from property sales.

“This city doesn’t deserve a mayor who is in my situation,” he said in a written statement. “I am withdrawing from public life, clean and without any personal gain.”

Conde Roa, who took office on July 1, informed his PP colleagues about the decision over the weekend but didn’t make it public until Monday.

Deputy Mayor Ángel Currás will fill Conde Roa’s spot until the PP bench on the city council can elect a new mayor. That decision was made by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the PP regional premier in Galicia, and Currás, after they both met with Conde Roa on Sunday.

Judge José Vázquez Taín of Santiago charged Conde Roa for failing to pay the Treasury some 291,000 euros in value added tax (VAT) that was charged on 61 property sales that his real estate company completed in 2010.

On April 9, the outgoing mayor acknowledged that the funds had been used instead to pay off debts owed by his ailing firm, but denied that he had lined his own pockets with the money.

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