Mayor steps down after arrested for driving drunk and skipping lockdown
Former Socialist mayor of Badalona, Alex Pastor, provisionally released but under investigation
The mayor of Badalona, Alex Pastor, stepped down on Wednesday morning after being arrested on Tuesday evening after being caught driving drunk in Barcelona's city center. He has been provisionally released but is under investigation for reckless driving and assaulting police.
His party, the Socialists, had suspended his membership and had asked him to step down few hours before he eventually did.
Pastor had been elected head of Badalona, the fourth-biggest city in Catalonia, just north of Barcelona, in June 2018, and reelected a year later after the last local election.
This came despite his party coming third in the May 2019 local election – the second party, left-wing Guanyem Badalona en Comú, backed him for the post in the eleventh hour in order to avoid People's Party Xavier García Albiol, who came first, being elected.
Bids to succeed Pastor
Both Guanyem Badalona en Comú's leader, Dolors Sabater, and García Albiol, have already announced their bids for the mayor's office.
If in an upcoming plenary session to elect Pastor's successor no candidate achieves the support of the majority of councilors, 14 out of 27, García Albiol will be automatically elected head of Badalona.
In a RAC1 radio interview, the People's Party leader said that "it was known by everybody that [Pastor] had addiction problems."
"Things that I regret"
The Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police stopped Pastor's car in Barcelona's Eixample district on Tuesday evening.
The officers arrested him for skipping the lockdown, driving under the effects of alcohol, and attacking the authority.
"[Being mayor] has hurt my family and personal life. This has affected my health and my emotional state and has led me to do things that I regret," he said.
Pastor was off sick for a "coronary" issue for some weeks in winter, starting the week Storm Gloria hit Badalona and the rest of Catalonia particularly hard.