The leadership of the Partido Popular in Palma has been dealt a heavy blow: three three senior members of the party were forced to resign today by party chiefs in Madrid.
The reason for Jose Maria Rodriquez, Alvaro Gijon and Sandra Fernandez being asked to step down is because of their alleged involvement with an investigation currently being carried out into corruption within Palma’s local police force.
Rodriquez was the president of the Palma branch, Gijon was a former councillor for tourism, deputy mayor and the secretary of the party, while and Fernandez was the vice-secretary. All three announced their resignations after Madrid contacted the president of the PP in the Balearics, Miquel Vidal, over the weekend.
According to court documents released last week, Rodriquez is alleged to have surrounded himself with a group of local police who he apparently used for certain political and party duties. Rodriguez allegedly filtered exam results and names for certain positions in the police force so he could be surrounded by a special group of policemen and women and also help promote in exchange for their services.
The investigation started in 2013 and since then a number of senior police officers have been arrested and questioned: six remain in preventive custody as the investigation into widespread corruption continues. The force’s green patrol, thought to have been the key to the scandal, has been disbanded. Investigators are looking into allegations of bribery, coercion and extortion in Playa de Palma and the Paseo Maritimo in Palma, two of the city's main entertainment spots.
Gijon and Fernandez now have to also consider their positions as opposition MPs in the Balearic parliament.