As if the current Chapala government hadn’t already started out with a heap of financial and legal troubles inherited from previous administrations, new headaches have emerged in recent days.
This week, officials discovered that Guadalajara’s 13th Civil Court had put a lien on one of the municipality’s bank accounts as a guarantee for payment of rentals fees owed to Promotora Tebar, the company managing the privately owned north wing of the building that houses city hall.
The government owns the main part of the former Hotel Nido. It leased the attached annex during the 2007-2009 administration to gain more office space, renewing the contract every three years until terminating the arrangement in December 2018 to cut expenses. Tebar is now suing for non-payment of 55,000 pesos per month (plus IVA), due for the entire last year of Javier Degollado’s term as mayor.
Councilors facing house arrest
On top of that unexpected debt, the government is facing mounting pressure to reach a settlement in lieu of paying a penalty of nearly 96 million pesos tagged to the lawsuit the government lost to Led Lumina, a company holding a 2012 concession contract to handle the municipality’s street lighting that went south three years later.
As the suit continues its legal course, the administrative tribunal handling the case has notified the government that it had five working days as of May 24 to meet its obligations. If this deadline is not met, all members of the city council could be subject to 36 hours of house arrest.