The magistrate of the Investigating Court number 2 of Tarragona, Rubén Rus, has summoned the councilor and president of Tarragona Ràdio, Paula Varas (ERC), and the Deputy Secretary General of the Tarragona City Council and secretary of the board of directors of the Municipal Company of Mitjans de Comunicació, Núria Pallarès, whom the former adviser to the former mayor Josep Fèlix Ballesteros (PSC), Josep Maria Bonet, accuses of having committed two alleged crimes: impersonation and usurpation of identity and usurpation of powers in the payment of the tax of the personal income tax corresponding to the 2019 financial year of the municipal company.
As Larepublicacheca.cat advanced and was able to contrast the Diari, the judge issued an order on April 20 in which he agrees to open preliminary proceedings – informing the Prosecutor’s Office – citing Varas and Pallarès to declare as investigated on July 7 at 11 noon, while requesting “to consult the criminal records of those investigated.” Likewise, the judge also summons the vice president of the public company, the also councilor -of Esports- María José López (ERC), to testify as a witness.
And the mercantile powers?
In his complaint, Bonet recalls that “in June 2019 I was dismissed from the position of manager” of the Mitjans Municipal Company, while on September 13, 2019 “I was separated from the company through a supposedly objective amortization in my status of commercial director. Since then, the former highest adviser to the former mayor stresses that “I have not had any connection with the company nor have I had access to any act of management or administration” and “much less have I used the powers that were granted to me by the position.”
Despite this, in his writing Bonet indicates that, after his dismissal, “I was aware that the mercantile powers had not been revoked” or that “the charge had not been canceled in the registry.” This last requirement, according to the former manager, should have been fulfilled “by the entity’s governing body”, and he points to Paula Varas and Núria Pallarès. The sources consulted indicate that this requirement was approved at the board of directors in November 2019.
Already in July 2020, the former position presented a letter to the Tax Agency in which he requested “the certificate of tax actions and declarations that had been processed with my digital certificate.” A week later, the Tax Agency informed him that, between August 2019 and July 2020, three self-assessments had been processed. The first, on October 15, 2019, corresponding to the presentation of model 111 for the withholdings and payments on account for the 3rd quarter of 2019; and another two from January 20, 2020, the first also from model 111 for IRPF of withholdings and income for the 4th quarter and, likewise, a model 190 for IRPF of withholdings and payments on account of the annual summary.
For all these reasons, the former manager of Tarragona Ràdio and former chief of staff of the former socialist mayor considers that “the facts reported may be, in my opinion, constitutive of the alleged commission of a crime of impersonation and usurpation of identity, as well as usurpation of powers ».
“A Smoke Screen”
The councilor and president of Tarragona Ràdio, Paula Varas (ERC), stated yesterday that “this complaint will make it possible to thoroughly investigate the administrative faults that allegedly exist and, at the same time, clarify who may have used the digital certificate”, which according to ERC only It may have been used by a person to whom Bonet himself “has given the access keys.” According to Esquerra, the complaint “does not show that there is reliable evidence” that the two accused “have used the certificate”, while Varas describes the case as a “smokescreen to draw the focus from the causes that some have in the court”, he affirms in relation to the opening of the oral trial against the PSC and the socialist mayors Josep Fèlix Ballesteros and Begoña Floria by Inipro. Eva Miguel (CUP) adds that “raising the rugs of the alleged corrupt practices of the PSC has its consequences.”
Since the summer of 2019, Bonet has received some 96,000 euros from Tarragona Ràdio between the compensation for his dismissals and the trial he won. Likewise, in November 2021, the Mitjans company presented a report to the Prosecutor’s Office in which it exposed the existence of dozens of invoices (238) -which added up to a global amount of more than 800,000 euros- and that the current political leadership of Tarragona Ràdio considers that they correspond to «disguised subsidies» and «ghost or unjustified payments» to entities, companies and restaurants». “It is relevant that the person who has denounced is being investigated for alleged irregularities,” emphasizes Cristina Guzman (JxTGN).
PSC, PP and Cs yesterday asked for the resignation of Paula Varas. “We have reached this situation due to the disastrous management of Councilor Varas. It is one more example of the incompetence of this municipal government,” indicates the socialist spokesperson, Sandra Ramos, while Lorena de la Fuente (Cs) is in favor of the president of Tarragona Ràdio “stepping aside from her duties until the judge clarify the facts. Finally, José Luis Martín (PP) hopes that “now Ricomà applies in his municipal group the resignations that he requests for others when the same situation occurs.”