The heads of the Social and Health Care Institute (IASS) of the Cabildo de Tenerife Yesterday, the technicians discharged all responsibility for the transfer of the activity of the Febles Campos Hospital, a center dependent on the Insular Corporation for the elderly with chronic and mental illnesses, to another residence located in the Diocesan Seminary and managed by Clece, a company of the ACS group , chaired by Florentino Pérez. In one of the technical reports of the file, however, up to six objections to the chosen formula appear.
Marián Franquet (PSOE), counselor of Social Action and president of the IASS, and Yazmina León, manager of the organization, are the first defendants to testify – they did so yesterday morning – before the head of the 4th Investigating Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife , María de los Ángeles Lorenzo-Cáceres, in the investigation opened by the judge after admitting a complaint from the IASS works council that sees serious irregularities in the hiring of Clece, for 10 years, for the care of more than 200 elderly people from Febles Campos . Francisco Lázaro, regional director in the Canary Islands of Clece, also declared yesterday for a real estate operation in which the committee sees indications of the crimes of prevarication, embezzlement and prohibited negotiations with public officials.
No representative of the Prosecutor’s Office attends the appearance after supporting the start of the investigation
No representative of the Prosecutor’s Office attended the court appearance despite supporting the initiation of the investigation for criminal evidence. Franquet and León refused to answer questions from the private prosecution, the works council of the IASS. In this operation, for which eight other people are also being investigated –among them the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín (PSOE), its vice-president, Enrique Arriaga (Ciudadanos), or the treasurer of the Bishopric of Tenerife, Víctor Oliva– the judge and the prosecutor observe “opaque” and “abnormal” movements that must be studied in case they constitute crimes.
The judge asked Franquet and León about the steps that the IASS took and that led, on June 17, 2021, to the approval of the conditions of subrogation to Clece by the majority of the members of the Governing Council of the IASS, conditions that the works council has denounced as “abusive”, “contrary to the public interest”, carried out “in collusion with the company” and “without public competition”. Through this agreement, the Cabildo undertakes to pay 9.8 million over 10 years to Clece, solely for the lease, of the Seminary facilities, when the company pays 290,000 euros for rent to the Bishopric for these same facilities. That is, the Cabildo will pay 300% more. To these questions, Franquet and León responded that they were always based on the criteria of the technicians, who according to them designed the strategy.
Some of the technical reports of the procedure investigated by Instruction 4 are not, however, favorable to the IASS strategy, especially one from the Engineering and Maintenance Service. This report raises six objections: Clece’s proposal for places in the Seminar is less than the minimum places requested by the IASS, the company does not offer equipment or furniture –which the Cabildo has to take care of–, part of the new dependencies « they do not have authorization from the Canarian Government» and the adequacy of the new center to the urban planning of La Laguna is not accredited either. Likewise, it states that it is not proven that one of the modules can be occupied in six months and neither is the suitability of the chosen formula, a complex sublease contract that implies a large investment of public money. The Corporation, furthermore, does not reserve any right to the residence of the Seminary once the contract has ended.
The Engineering Service stated that Clece’s offer does not meet the demands of the IASS
The president and the manager of the IASS, who went together to the Palace of Justice and were booed by twenty workers of this organization upon their arrival at 10:15 a.m., also based their defense on the fact that the processing of this contract with Clece still has not concluded and has not been definitively approved, the same arguments of his appeal to avoid the opening of the preliminary proceedings that the judge rejected.
Franquet explained to the judge that the IASS is waiting to receive crucial reports for the definitive approval of the real estate operation and that even some of those who have just arrived have objected to the chosen formula, especially to the fact that within the item of the lease, the Cabildo has also agreed to pay for the adaptation works of the Diocesan Seminary without a public tender and with costs that the IASS works council considers “disproportionate”. The committee calculates that the Cabildo will have to pay 20 million euros for this contract.
Although Franquet clarified to the judge that the transfer of the elderly from the Febles Campos de Santa Cruz to the Clece center in the La Laguna Seminary is still in the processing phase, and could even be rejected if the pending technical reports so request, what is certain is that the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, advanced it a year and a half ago. At a press conference on June 19, 2020, Martín assured that there are “simply some small conditioning works” and “close the agreement” to make the transfer of the elderly.
The president of the IASS also stressed the urgency of carrying out the relocation of the Febles Campos patients to other dependencies, since the building of this hospital, which formerly housed what was known as the Santa Cruz asylum, is in very poor condition. The Cabildo has spent years trying to find an alternative. The current insular government (PSOE and Ciudadanos) believes they have found the best solution: Clece’s residence in the Diocesan Seminary, located in the lagoon neighborhood of La Verdellada.
Francisco Lázaro, regional director in the Canary Islands of the company Clece, who negotiated the contract for the residence of the Seminary with the Cabildo, also declared yesterday as a defendant in the Palace of Justice. Lázaro assured that the procedure has been carried out with “total transparency” and that the company has limited itself to following the steps that the IASS has marked out.