Antonia Muñoz (archive photograph). / sur

Former mayor of Manilva found guilty of issuing employment contracts illegally

Antonia Muñoz is said to have employed over 700 people this way during her time as mayor and has been banned from holding public office for nine years

IRENE QUIRANTE Malaga

The former mayor of Manilva, Antonia Muñoz of the Izquierda Unida party, who held the post from 2007 to 2013, issued 749 work contracts during her time in office without going through the correct legal procedure, the Malaga provincial court has found. The magistrates consider that she continually ignored the rules and she has been banned from holding public office for nine years.

According to the court ruling, which SUR has seen, the former mayor used the Manilva Development Foundation and the Manilva Sports Company, both municipal companies which appear to be independent but have no funding of their own, headquarters or personnel other than council employees.

“Such was the connection between the town hall and the sports company that they used the same stamp on the contracts and the phone number for the company was that of the town hall,” the judgement stated. In this way, the mayor contracted town hall staff “without following any legal procedure”, and chose the employees personally.

This form of contracting became habitual, according to the prosecution, and her aim was to be popular and gain support from people in Manilva in order to remain in power.

The court also said that Aitor Menoyo, who was taken on as legal advisor to the council in 2008, had been employed in the same way: he did not go through any selection process and the rules governing equality, merit and ability were not taken into account when he was given the job.

The magistrates considered that, as a lawyer, he had enough training to know that this method of contracting an employee was illegal because it ignored the administrative procedure, but despite that he went along with the mayor’s decision to appoint him in that way.

As a result, the court banned him from holding public office or employment for a period of 21 months.

However, Francisco Medina, who was the councillor for Sports at the time, and former councillor Diego Díaz, who was the head of Human Resources at the town hall, were both cleared of any wrongdoing.