Túrricse Mayor Endre Garda has excluded citizens of his village from eligibility for public work programs after they filed a report on him with authorities, reports hírTV.
hírTV’s prime time program Célpont featured a report on Garda’s public work scheme earlier this year. According to hírTV, in lieu of cash, Garda distributed vouchers as payment to 130 local public workers. The scrip could only be redeemed at the shop of the village’s social cooperative, of which Garda is the chairman. Citizens eventually filed a report on the mayor with authorities.
Garda, in turn, sued Célpont reporters, and those citizens who spoke against him on camera. Garda even brought suit against those who shared the report on social media, and has barred anyone involved from acquiring public work in the village since then.
During a court hearing, Garda pardoned six citizens but chose to carry on with the suit against the remaining five.
“Do not claim that I steal the money. Nobody came to me for work since March, that’s all. Period. If somebody claims that they have, they are lying,” Garda told hírTV.
However, Veronika Kóczé, a Tórricse resident, presented a recording of a conversation with the mayor which she says proves that he is indeed barring specific citizens of the village from public work out of petty revenge.
Mayor: I won’t employ you because I don’t want to have a report filed on me again.
Kóczé: What do you think, why would I file a report on you? Why did you take back the others? Tamás Tejfel has been taken back, you have taken back everybody from Nóri’s [family]. Two of the Zahárs are working.
Mayor: When the court hearing is nicely done and my case, it turns out how my case is going to end, then after that you can work.
Kóczé: Yeah, I get it, and until then you are just screwing with us?
Mayor: No, I’m not screwing with you, just nobody can be employed until then, I won’t employ anyone.
Endre Garda is running for reelection in 2019.