BRITON DENIES BEING MAYOR

Mark Lewis, the Briton named in media reports as the “accidental mayor” of San Fulgencio on the Costa Blanca, has denied taking up the position. Mr Lewis was said to have taken over the reins in San Fulgencio after the mayor, the deputy and four councillors were arrested over alleged corruption. The 58-year-old was elected to the council last year after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket, but he was never invited to become mayor. Mr Lewis confirmed that the current mayor, Trinidad Martinez, was among those arrested earlier this week on corruption allegations. However, he said that Sra Martinez had since been released and continued to perform her duties as mayor, while a police investigation was ongoing. The scandal erupted last week when several media outlets broadcast a video of deputy mayor Manuel Barrera Garcia allegedly accepting a €5,000 bribe from property developers. He was allegedly caught on camera saying: “It is better in large denomination bills. They occupy less space.” Sr Barrera Garcia was arrested on October 20th and released on bail. He has denied any wrongdoing and said it was a politically motivated set-up. Mr Lewis, who moved to Spain some 25 years ago, was elected to the council last year with the independent AIM party. He was appointed Councillor for Animals – a position in which he was responsible for organising searches for lost pets. Media outlets reported that he had become mayor as a temporary measure while the corruption inquiry ran its course. San Fulgencio is 25 miles from Alicante in the south-east of the country, and has a population of 11,000, the vast majority of whom are British.

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