In 2006, the mayor of Bigastro, José Joaquín Moya supported by the municipal technician, María Jesús Ferrer granted a license to build a solar farm at La Pedrera. The PP spokesperson, José Antonio Ricart alerted the environmental group Seprona to what was going on. The licence to build was deemed illegal because there was no declaration of community interest and no environmental impact study conducted.
The project had already gone ahead and thousands of square metres of ground were cleared without permission from the Department of Land. The process was eventually halted and the license was revoked but by that time it was too late, the natural habitat had been destroyed.
The case is due to be heard in the Provincial Court where the Anticorruption Prosecutor, Paul Romera is seeking 15 months in prison and a a ban of nine years from public office for both of the defendants. Moya made an appeal to stop the trial but that has now been rejected so the trial will take place.
As a relative newcomer to the town, it seemed to me that José Joaquín Moya had been in power for too long.
I have no doubt that Moya was a driving force in the development of Bigastro during his early years of office but after over 20 years he had gained too much power and had become misguided in his judgements. Ultimately, power corrupted him and led to his dismissal from office and a term in prison whilst the cases were being investigated against him.
Now Moya faces a series of cases against him and is paying the price for believing that he was above the law. It is sad that it should have come to this both for him and for Bigastro. Hopefully, the current politicians will take heed of this and avoid the mistakes that Moya made in the future.