PP candidate for mayor of Mojacar Francisco ‘Fran’ Garcia allegedly misused municipality funds to benefit his father’s business
Garcia is said to have bought over 100 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates to promote the town’s nomination to Ferrero’s Christmas Lighting at a Cepsa petrol station owned by his dad.
“Although Mojacar won the bid and locals were happy with the beautiful lights provided by Ferrero, the boxes bought at the petrol station are almost 30% more expensive than at the supermarket,” a source within the opposition has told the Olive Press.
This newspaper has had access to the tickets issued by the petrol station, which sold each box for €6.89.
However, the exact same box of Ferrero chocolates can be purchased at Mercadona for €5.29.
The tickets the Olive Press has had access to show the council spent a total of €810.57 at Garcia’s father petrol station, which accounts for 117 boxes.
The same number would cost €618.93 at Mercadona, meaning Garcia allegedly wasted almost €200 of public funds.
“The council did a great job winning the bid and promoting its nomination but it did this by misusing municipality funds,” a councillor of an opposition party has said to the Olive Press.
She added: “The event was very nice but not many people knew of the financial aspect. In addition, Ferrero only provided some of the lights, but the council spent more on further lighting. They were not transparent about it.”
The Olive Press has called PP candidate Fran Garcia, who claimed at first he did not know anything about it.
“I do not know what you are talking about, I don’t remember buying any boxes of chocolates” he said.
He then changed his mind after we mentioned we have the receipts as proof.
“It must have been for an event that we did on a Sunday in December in which everyone involved had a chocolate. We welcomed a much higher number of people than the one initially expected. So we had to buy extra boxes and the petrol station was the only store that was open.
However, the event Garcia is referring to took place on Sunday 4. While the two receipts date from Wednesday November 30 and Wednesday December 7.
When this fact was pointed out to him, Garcia insisted “I only remember the great event we organised, which led us to win the bid. The only thing I recall is that it was a bank holiday. This is something the opposition is doing to affect my candidacy.”
He concluded: “The main lot was bought at the supermarket. We only purchased at the petrol station the extra boxes we needed for the event that same day.
However, the receipts clearly show the set of boxes were acquired four days before the event and three days after.