the purchases that the judge is investigating signed by a councilor and an advisor from the Canary Islands Coalition

Sixteen poufs, six mats, a ping-pong table, a red cashmere sofa or a 1.40 by 2.80-meter table for 1,461 euros are some of the items purchased in December 2018 by the official Pilar Rodríguez Machín, advisor to the Canary Islands Coalition (CC), to equip the House of Youth in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, allegedly avoiding the demands of public contracting. It is only a small part of the purchases that the justice accidentally detected when a supplier company resorted to it that could not collect when its invoices were rejected by the government group that succeeded the Canary Coalition in the summer of 2019 in sight of the negative reports of the Intervention. All the invoices bear the “agreement” of the then Councilor for Youth, Sports and Education, Verónica Mesegué del Pino, also from CC.

At the beginning of September, the titular judge of Instruction 1 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife asked the City Council to send her the complete file of one of the payments that were divided in an allegedly illegal manner. These are those that were made to the contractor María Caballero Arellano, who resorted to the Contentious-Administrative jurisdiction to be able to collect. The judge agreed with him but detected such irregularities in the administrative procedure that brought him to the attention of the investigating courts so that the opening of a criminal investigation could be assessed. Currently, the official Pilar Rodríguez Machín, a trusted position of the Canary Islands Coalition, current CEO of the Municipal Institute of Social Attention (Imas) and wife of the deputy of that same party José Alberto Díaz-Estébanez is charged. Rodríguez Machín was summoned as being investigated last August but took advantage of her right not to testify.

The invoices investigated by the judge detail the purchases that were made under the declaration of “urgency” to provide the one known as Casa Siliuto, that is, the Casa de la Juventud de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a few months before the local elections 2019, held in May. The official acquired from this supplier a three-seater sofa, in red cashmere fabric, for 699 euros; an Enea Design table measuring 120×280 centimeters, by 1,461; four Furninova Cube 60×60 poufs, at € 312.50 each (in total, € 1,250); six Fatboy mats, at 259.95 euros each (in total, 2,069.60 euros), and another twelve beanbags, in this case at 79.95 euros (959.40 euros in total).

A ping-pong table was also bought from the same supplier for 499 euros or six foscurit, which in total cost 2,662.77 euros.

But, in addition to this provider, the municipal services keep dozens of invoices from other companies that provided services or sold goods to the City Council for the Casa de la Juventud using the same procedure that led to the opening of this judicial investigation.

All the invoices are signed by the Canarian Coalition official Pilar Rodríguez Machin with the “agreement” of the councilor Verónica Mesegué del Pino.

Among many other purchases, the three three-mouth bins stand out, at 452 euros each, served by Cavas Catalanas; five Italian black mesh chairs at 586 euros each, purchased from Samper Croissier, SL; and three custom-made furniture for Casa Siliuto (a counter and two cabinets) for a total amount of 14,980 euros, also ordered by the emergency route and without respecting the contracting procedures of Construcciones Felipe Méndez, SL

At the time of signing these invoices and formalizing these contracts under suspicion, Pilar Rodríguez Machín was head of the Economic Promotion and Youth service. After the change of municipal government in 2019, the official returned to her position as head of the Imas section, but beforehand, she raised to the new municipal government board the payments that she left pending from her stage as head of the previous service. But as a result of the negative reports from the intervention services, the team chaired by the socialist Patricia Hernández paralyzed them, leading to the appeal of one of the providers who has uncovered all the irregularities.

Rodríguez Machín, a historical CC in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, returned to the municipal power environment as soon as her party returned to power in 2020. She is currently the CEO of Imas, a position of trust in the government group.

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