THE Office of the Ombudsman recently found a former municipal mayor of Baay-Licuan town guilty of simple misconduct during his term from 2010-2013 and ordered him to pay the fine equivalent to his three-month salary after the conduct of a through and impartial investigation.

In a recent decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales fined former local chief executive Christopher Millare, Sr., 55 of Baay-Licuan town.

The complaint stemmed from the ex-mayor’s misuse of the town’s 20 percent Development Fund in 2011 and 2012 for the rehabilitation of the municipal hall.

During his term, Millare appropriated P3.2 million of public funds for a purpose different from which these were appropriated by law pursuant to the usual government accounting and auditing rules, regulations and guidelines.

In its decision, the Ombudsman said she found "substantial evidence" against Millare and meted him the penalty of a fine equivalent to three months of his salary, payable to the Office of the Ombudsman immediately upon receipt of the same so as not to complicate matters relative thereto.

The decision noted the fine “may be deductible from the respondent’s retirement benefits, accrued leave credits or any receivable from their office.” If he was able to receive such benefits from the government after ending his term in 2013, he will be required to personally settle his obligation directly before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman further directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement her decision immediately upon receipt. This was received by the DILG head office in May 20, 2015 and implemented by Licuan-Baay’s municipal local government operations officer the next day.

Millare lost his re-election bid in 2013 but, despite the numerous cases and findings against him, he is reportedly eyeing a comeback in the 2016 polls.

The concerned former local chief executive could not be reached for comment on the matter as of press time. (Roderick Osis)