Prison sentence and ban on public office for former Axarquía mayor

Former mayor of Sedella, José Antonio Gutiérrez.
Former mayor of Sedella, José Antonio Gutiérrez. / E. C.
  • José Antonio Gutiérrez, who resigned in 2014, pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of public funds during his time in office in Sedella

A court in Malaga has sentenced the former mayor of an Axarquía village, José Antonio Gutiérrez (41), to nine months in prison for misappropriation of public money. Gutiérrez, who ran Sedella and pleaded guilty to the charges against him during his court appearance earlier this week , has also been banned from holding a position in public office for five years.

The former politician was mayor of Sedella from 2011 until March 2014, when he resigned over the scandal. He had taken over from his predecessor, Francisco Gálvez, who had held office for two decades, in a pact between the Izquierda Unida and socialist PSOE political parties.

Gutiérrez, along with his brother, bought computer and sports equipment for the town hall with grants from Malaga's provincial government, the Diputación. However, the brothers produced invoices with values higher than the actual cost of the items bought, claiming that computers purchased cost 937.50 euros when the real value of each item was between 553 and 580 euros .

The two men also submitted false invoices for the installation of the computers as well as the sports equipment.

The court also heard that the materials bought did not comply with the purpose of the grants awarded by the provincial government.

The brothers are said to have pocketed in the region of 10,000 euros which has been paid back since Gutiérrez's resignation in 2014.