Leaves the PSC and the act of mayor of l'Hospitalet who denounced the alleged corruption in the management of sport

"It's the world upside down", ends the letter that Salvador Illa, first secretary of the PSC, received this Friday from Jaume Graells, the socialist councilor who alerted the mayor of l'Hospitalet of the alleged irregularities in the sports council of the city for which two councilors have already resigned to whom the Prosecutor's Office asks for more than 4 years in prison and for which the accusation against Núria Marín is maintained.

Leaves the PSC and the act of mayor of l'Hospitalet who denounced the alleged corruption in the management of sport

"It's the world upside down", ends the letter that Salvador Illa, first secretary of the PSC, received this Friday from Jaume Graells, the socialist councilor who alerted the mayor of l'Hospitalet of the alleged irregularities in the sports council of the city for which two councilors have already resigned to whom the Prosecutor's Office asks for more than 4 years in prison and for which the accusation against Núria Marín is maintained. In the letter, Graells communicates that he leaves the militancy of the socialist party and the act of councilor in the City Council of l'Hospitalet because he has seen that in the PSC there is "too much secrecy, too much passivity, too much closing ranks, too thunderous silence, too much repression for those who go out of the script and decide to denounce corruption».

Graells' letter to Illa describes what is in fact a Catalan version of the Sicilian omertá, that code of honor that prohibits reporting on the criminal activities of the mafia family. The whistleblower of the alleged corruption throws in the towel of his political activity after decades of militancy, after the prosecution requested the file of the case against the mayor of l'Hospitalet and president of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Núria Marín, although he is still standing the popular accusation, headed by the municipal group of the Commons and ERC.

In the letter, revealed by the local publication Districte7, Graells informs Illa that "the attitude of the PSC leadership -starting with its first secretary- seriously violates the regulatory compliance protocols approved in the last congress", referring to the protection of the warning of bad internal practices between the militancy and public officials. In this sense, it denounces that "there are more and more people involved with a PSC co-responsible by action or omission" in this case that keeps 19 people indicted, mostly PSC militants, and that has spread to the neighboring municipality of Cornella.

The socialist resigned reminds Illa that he shared with Núria Marín on February 4, 2020 his suspicions about the illegality of the practices in the Sports Council of the city and provided all the evidence, as well as the illegality of the compensation of 47,000 euros for a false dismissal of Cris Plaza, one of the three involved and directors of that para-municipal organization. The fraudulent compensation became a separate piece of the case of alleged corruption and has led to the resignation, on July 20, of Cristian Alcázar, second deputy mayor and first secretary of the PSC of l'Hospitalet, after requesting an oral trial on the part of the prosecution, which asks for more than 4 years in prison for him because he signed the irregular dismissal, and for Cris Plaza, the beneficiary of this compensation and who was the first to resign as councilor in 2020.

Graells regrets in the letter with which he makes public his political and institutional dismissal that "despite the fact that I did what had to be done from the first moment, despite the fact that I was loyal to the mayor to whom, as my superior, I let her know all the irregularities that I had detected with the provision of objective evidence”…despite all that “the response I have received has been unfortunate, because from the first minute I felt how my trust was betrayed and credibility was given to the version of those who had committed irregularities, supporting them while I was ostracized.

In the letter, the until now socialist councilor of the second city of Catalonia recounts in great detail the alleged irregularities with the provision of evidence that he explained to Núria Marín at their meeting on February 4, 2020, such as acts of assemblies « falsified» to obtain public subsidies from the City Council of l'Hospitalet and the Catalan Sports Council of the Generalitat. These minutes included budgets and year-end closings, in some cases more than 400,000 euros apart from the meetings actually held.

In the list of reproaches about the management within the sports entity that includes the aforementioned letter, Graells also speaks of an "internal cash accounting with hundreds of cash payments for all kinds of services without declaring in any case to the Treasury or the Security Social”, in addition to “payment sheets and allowances where all kinds of bad practices are allegedly verified: totally unjustified personal expenses, double remuneration, payments for services without specifying hours or dedication, payment of fines, cocktail bars.”

For this case that Graells denounced, first to the mayor and then to the Court, Núria Marín is charged (investigated) and was arrested on December 10, 2020 by the Economic and Fiscal Crimes Unit (UDEF) of the National Police and deposited your mobile phone. Police sources indicate in their reports that the WhatsApp conversations that Núria Marín had after informing her of the irregularities by her then government partner, Jaume Graells, constitute evidence that the mayor did not act, at least, with the diligence that an authority is obliged to carry out before the commission of crimes.

In addition to the mayor, there are almost 20 more defendants, the vast majority of whom are PSC militants, as Graells denounces in his letter to Illa. But there is also Gerad Figueras, Secretary of Sport of the Generalitat, of Junts, a formation with which Núria Marín maintains an agreement to preside over the Barcelona Provincial Council. The municipal comptroller, the head of the mayor's office, the resigned second deputy mayor of the city council and first secretary of the PSC of l'Hospitalet, Cristian Alcázar, and the former councilor for Sports and former president of the Consell Esportiu, Cristóbal Plaza, are also under investigation. in addition to several employees of the same organization.

According to the investigating magistrate of the case, once the complainant Graells internally uncovered this alleged plot to the mayor, those under investigation presumably agreed to try to hide the facts and avoid their discovery, "orchestrating" together with Gerard Figueras and Núria Marín "a maneuver to pretend to third parties a correct action» of those involved. For the Police, from what has been investigated to date, there are indications that, in their "apparently illegal" activity, those under investigation would have had the "collusion" of other people, including Mayor Marín, who "would have favored and/or unfairly facilitated the granting of subsidies with public funds from the City Council» to the entity managed by those investigated.

According to the judicial instruction, Mayor Marín helped those under investigation to prevent "her apparently illicit activity from being discovered, maintaining omission and passive behavior when a member of the entity that also held the status of deputy mayor of the City Council (Graells) He directly informed him of the acts committed by those under investigation.” This was stated by the judge in an order dated December 22, 2020 in which he authorized access, examination and analysis of the content of the mayor's mobile phone, a procedure that was carried out that same day, according to the Efe agency.

Transparency is one of the pillars of the fight against corruption. But those who help make it possible are often victimized. They are the whistleblowers, citizen witnesses of immoral or illegal acts who have the courage to denounce them. The figure of the whistleblower is protected by the European Union through a directive. The whistleblowers are brave because they are in favor of the common good, ignoring the advice to keep quiet. They are altruistic because they end up losing their jobs for the mere fact of reporting irregularities and they are treated like black sheep in environments that become poisoned. In the US, if public money is recovered, whistleblowers are rewarded with 2% of what is rescued.

Simona Levi (black cards) and Joan Llinares and Itziar González (hotel of the Palau de la Music), among others. The former councilor of the PSC of Hospitalet Jaume Graells has been the last.

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