Ciudadanos said that they had decided to expel Castilleja de la Cuesta councillor Carmen López from the organization because she had displayed “behaviour contrary to the principles and values of the party”, broadcaster Antena 3 reported on Tuesday.
López was elected to the Castilleja de la Cuesta council in May, but then moved more than 4,000 miles away from the town in Seville to Chicago, citing “family reasons”.
The former Miss Seville then asked the town council to foot the bill for her lengthy travels back and forth each month. She insisted that she would still be able to perform her duties as a councillor and asked town officials for advanced warning of meetings so she would have “sufficient time” to plan her trips.
Ciudadanos said that “a councillor's job is to be on hand, in the streets, and to be interested in neighbour's problems – something that is difficult to do if you decide to move to Chicago”.
According to daily Spanish El Mundo, there is no rule to prohibit López from living abroad and she remains on the council.
López, the only elected Ciudadanos representative on the council, posted an open letter to Facebook on Wednesday, stating that she was forced to move for financial reasons and that her party did not support her.
She also complained about not receiving information from the city about meetings or responses to her requests for information.
Last week, López could not attend a meeting physically, so she attempted to show her commitment by having her father attend while she was on a video call with him through his cellphone, according to El Mundo. The mayor asked him to leave the session.