The former head of investigation of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Toni Rodríguez, was dismissed for his lack of leadership skills. That was, at least, the argument offered by the new police headquarters and that has been embraced by the Minister of the Interior, Joan Ignasi Elena (Esquerra Republicana). “You can be the best surgeon, but a hospital boss,” said Elena, on Monday, in an appearance in Parliament in which she endorsed the words of Commissioner Josep Maria Estela. But those reasons, with which the counselor defends himself from having unleashed a “purge” among police officers, do not fit well with the service record of the dismissed mayor.
All the waiters they undergo an annual mandatory evaluation (called PGA) by their immediate superiors, who measure their performance from 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent). Rodríguez, who was number 1 in his promotion of mayors, has obtained a score close to excellent (around 3.8) in the files issued in recent years, as EL PAÍS has learned. Three of the 13 aspects that are scored on the higher scale of the body -intendents like him, but also commissioners- have to do with command capabilities: team motivation, commitment, interaction with other services. In all these chapters, Rodríguez has obtained the highest score: a 4.
The dismissed chief of investigation -and relocated, to his regret, as head of the Rubí police station- has been the subject, in recent years, of specific reports that develop and justify the score. It always happens with agents whose notes are located (for better or worse) at the extremes. Sources consulted by this newspaper consider that Rodríguez has a special ability to “direct and supervise” teams and that one of the reasons why he is respected is because he exercises his “leadership.”
Rodríguez’s file calls into question the official version of the Department of the Interior on the reasons for his dismissal. In his appearance, the counselor insisted on the issue of leadership when confronting Rodríguez with the one who is already his substitute at the head of the General Criminal Investigation Police Station (CGIC), Ramon Chacon. He was appointed by the new leadership “thinking about his leadership capacity”, his “management skills” and his “capacity for dialogue and internal coordination”.
Days before Christmas, the counselor Elena announced the departure of the important of the Mossos, Josep Lluís Trapero, to “feminize” the body, rejuvenate it and explore new forms of more choral leadership. The Republican councilor appointed a triumvirate: Commissioner Josep Maria Estela (at the top), flanked by Commissioner Eduard Sallent (who was already head of the Mossos for a few months, until Trapero’s restitution in 2020) and Mayor Rosa Maria Bosch . One of the first decisions of the leadership was to replace Rodríguez, a man close to Trapero.
Rodríguez, who joined the body in 1997, had been linked to the Mossos investigation for 18 years. He was head of organized crime (four years), of the Criminal Investigation Division (DIC) for another three years and has been responsible for just six months of the CGIC, which encompasses these and other units such as Anti-Corruption, which directs the most sensitive investigations for the Govern.
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The mayor and his team have left the former Interior Minister Miquel Buch one step away from the bench, who faces a request for six years in prison for the use of public funds to provide an escort service to former President Carles Puigdemont. They have also put the president of the Parliament, Laura Borràs, on the ropes for splitting contracts when he directed the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes to award them by hand to a friend of his. And they were responsible for the arrest, in October 2018, of the president of the Diputación de Lleida, Joan Reñé, in an increasingly robust cause that has been linked to the case 3% for payments through the audiovisual production company Triacom.
Rodríguez’s departure has irritated judges and prosecutors, who had become accustomed to working with him on complex cases with the utmost discretion. In her appearance in the Catalan Parliament last Monday, to explain the changes in the leadership, Elena spoke about the Rodríguez case. He denied that his transfer to Rubí is a “punishment” or a way of “despising” him. With just under 80,000 inhabitants, this city in the Barcelona metropolitan area has a crime rate nine points lower than the Catalan average. According to Elena, leading the police station is “a very important police challenge.”
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