“Irregularities” practised during former administrations at Silves Câmara are finally coming to the surface.
When she took up her post as leader of the council in 2013, CDU mayor Rosa Palma told the Resident she had found some “very delicate situations”, “some really serious issues” which she was only “coming to understand” now that her party was in office and “able to go through all the paperwork”.
“Everything will come out in due course,” she told us in an interview which showed by how much Palma meant to change the workings of the borough (see: http://portugalresident.com/%E2%80%98this-is-a-new-beginning%E2%80%99).
But her hands were tied by a hung executive which has seen the PS and PSD banding together to thwart endless initiatives.
Now the tide seems to be turning.
In a page-lead today, entitled “Fortune in lawyers”, national tabloid Correio da Manhã reports on the results of an independent audit into the accounts of the borough which had upwards of €8 million in long-term debt when Palma took up the reins.
The audit “points to irregularities in former mandates and damages to public accounts of €4 million relating to the case known as Viga D’Ouro, as well as an expense of more than €1 million with the firm of lawyers PLMJ”.
In a recent council meeting, Rosa Palma proposed the sending of the report to the Accounts Court (Tribunal de Contas) as well as the “possibility of taking judicial action against councillors from previous administrations involved in the case of Viga D’Ouro”, but her attempts were “vetoed” by the PSD and PS, explains CM.
Former mayor Rogério Pinto (PSD) thought it “strange that the report was delivered in February but only now presented”, while he said the Accounts Court is already looking into the administrations run by former mayor of three mandates, Isabel Soares – who left her last stretch in the top job early (in 2012) to take over the running of Águas do Algarve (water supply authority).
Socialist councillor Fernando Serpa – the man who firmly believed he would be sitting in the mayor’s chair before Rosa Palma was elected – suggested “those cited in the audit” should have the possibility to make declarations “in a time to be defined by the executive”.
As CM concludes, once this time has run its course, “Rosa Palma’s proposal should return to the meeting”.