Ex-Oria mayor to stand trial

Socialist José Pérez Oria accused of cronyism and sinking council in debt after spending nearly half a million euros on illicit projects

The former mayor of Oria in happier times

By Richard Torné

Former Oria mayor José Pérez is to go on trial in Almería after being charged with perverting the course of justice.

Pérez, from the Socialist PSOE party, is accused of having hired 46 people without following correct procedure between 2007 and 2011 while serving as mayor. He also hired far more people than were needed at the town hall or had been stipulated by the council.

A string of vacancies were reportedly filled, including office clerk, sports instructor, machine operator and even ‘cheerleader’. He is also accused of breaching procurement rules after awarding a €400,000 contract to build a nursery and a sports pavilion and two other projects, totalling €127,000.

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