Political corruption

Former PP provincial chief charged in large-scale corrupt hiring scheme

Judge in Ourense tells prosecutors and Socialists, who filed a people’s complaint against Baltar, to prepare for trial

Prosecutors have charged a former Popular Party provincial administrator in Ourense for allegedly using public money to contract some 104 family members and others connected to the local party.

José Luis Baltar was the ringleader of a massive scheme that “sidestepped established procedures” to give jobs to people he knew, said Judge Leonardo Álvarez in a ruling in which he formally named the former PP baron as a target of the inquiry. He faces charges related to overstepping his duties as an elected official.

The Galician Socialists (PSdeG-PSOE) had asked that Baltar also be charged with embezzlement, fraud and falsifying documents but the judge rejected their arguments.

Álvarez has asked prosecutors and the PSdeG-PSOE and the obscure union Manos Limpias, which both filed a people’s complaint against Baltar, to prepare to go to trial.

The original complaint was first filed in 2010, and in January the retired politician stepped down temporarily from the PP.

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