Bascuñana claims story is a ‘campaign to discredit’ him over six year position with Valencian Health Department

The mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana has denied a story published exclusively by el.diario.es which accused him of having taken a public wage from the Valencian Health Department in Alicante between 2007 and 2014 – but not actually going to work.

The PP mayor said to the media this was “absolutely false”  and he is studying legal action against those responsible.

“I’ve done nothing irregular, nobody is paid a salary month after month of they don’t do their job,” he said.

Eldiario.es assured Bascuñana was paid 14 instalments of €3,973 per year for the six years he was assigned to the Health Department in Alicante, although it could not be confirmed he went to the office every day.

The mayor replied that “some things leave a trace but others are harder to prove”. According to him he was advising the Health Department and working as a doctor at different health centres around the Vega Baja, about which he said thousands of people who he attended to can back up.

“I’m not the one who has to prove I worked, but others have to show that I didn’t,” he said.

He put the “fake headline” down to a “smear campaign” by “someone who wants me out at any price” since it comes a year before the municipal elections when the PP has to announce a candidate.

Opposition parties ask for explanations

Before the mayor’s press conference the spokespeople for the PSOE (Socialists) and Cambiemos demanded explanations from him.

“It is a shame that Orihuela is being linked with corruption again,” said Socialist Carolina Gracia, who reminded that Bascuñana was supposed to have been “someone clean to repair the corrupt image” of the municipality.

The PSOE will ask for explanations from the Valencian Health Department to clear up what happened.

Cambiemos said the allegations are “extremely serious” if true, while Ciudadanos, the PP’s partners in the council, wanted to be prudent and find out Bascuñana’s explanations before doing anything. Juan Ignacio López-Bas said the Valencian Health Department was also being “accused of paying a salary for no work”.