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FBI Arrests Mayors of Humacao and Aguas Buenas for Public Corruption

FBI Arrests Mayors of Humacao and Aguas Buenas for Public Corruption

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, in English) Two arrests were made this morning for public corruption, company press spokeswoman Limarie Cruz Rubio confirmed.

Three sources new day They confirmed it It was the mayor who was arrested HumacaoReinaldo “Rey” Vargas Rodriguez, Mayor good waterJavier Garcia Perez. Both mayors belong to the New Progressive Party (PNP).

For his part, Cruz Rubio did not confirm or deny the information, while refusing to comment on the details of the arrests and the criminal charges that will be filed.

“What I can say is that two arrests have been made and it has nothing to do with the (Joseph) Fuentes case that was revealed yesterday.”The spokesman said, referring to a fundraising campaign to launch a campaign against the governor’s competitors Peter Pierluisi Who will plead guilty today.

At 10:45 a.m., a press conference will be held at the offices of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Hato Ri.

In a radio interview (WKAQ 580) Mr. Osvaldo Carlo identified himself as the legal representative of both mayors. “They are physically located in the federal court district, in the FBI building,” he said, noting that they are processed and then go to the federal control district.

He pointed out that the indictment has not yet reached them. The hearing will take place before federal judge Marcos Lopez, although they are waiting to confirm whether he will see him in person or virtual.

Hopefully this is a routine issue, related to white collar crime, and the bail isn’t excessive. These two officials knew there were rumors on the street that they were under investigation.”

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Vargas Rodriguez was serving his first term as mayor of Himacao, while his counterpart was in Aguas Buenas in his second term.

“Once again, those in public office have been discredited, a fertilizer for the resentment and mistrust that people express every time a similar situation is known,” Kamui Mayor Gabriel Hernandez said in written remarks. Head of the Mayors’ Union.

There is no reason to deviate from proper management or justify the commission of acts of corruption. We have the tools, resources, and support available to maintain ethical behavior. “This is the appeal,” he added.

With these arrests, five mayors have been arrested so far for four years for their involvement in a corruption scheme. So far, the mayors of Humacao (Vargas Rodríguez), Aguas Buenas (Garcia Perez), Guaynabo (Angel Pérez Otero), Katano (Felix Delgado Montalvo) and Guayama (Eduardo Cintron) have been charged with this crime. In addition, the Vice Mayor of Trujillo Alto, Radamis Benítez Cardona, and the former mayor of Aguas Buenas, Luis Arroyo Cheques.

Last December, it became known through press reports that the mayor of Humacao is allegedly under investigation by the federal authorities. In December, the municipality Contracts with JR Asphalt have been canceledIt was worth $6.8 million after the arrest of the mayor of Catania and Guaynabo.

“No state or federal agency has contacted me,” The mayor pointed out for this newspaper in mid-April.

Meanwhile, the municipality of Aguas Buenas has contracts with both JR Asphalt and Waste Collection.

Until the four-year period that ended in 2016, the principal contractor for the municipality of Aguas Buenas was Betteroads Asphalt, with a contract of $8.8 million between 2005 and 2016. By that time, JR Asphalt had maintained contracts with that municipality for $1.8 million . However, his appointment began to grow, and between 2017 and 2021 he took contracts worth $4.3 million awarded by Mayor Javier García Perez, who was sworn in in January 2017.

While garbage collection in Aguas Buenas was carried out by VA Waste-Aguas Buenas with a contract worth $7.8 million that expired on September 30, 2016. However, before this term expired, former Mayor Luis Arroyo Cheques awarded a contract to Waste Collection on February 22, 2016 which will become effective in October 2016.

The $14.3 million contract was canceled on March 14 of that year because it was not approved by the municipal legislature. This is despite the fact that the law of independent municipalities applicable when awarding a contract, as well as jurisprudence, do not require mayors to obtain approval of the municipal legislature for this type of contract.

However, on the same day that contract was called off, Arroyo Chiqués awarded a new contract to Waste Collection worth $10.4 million, a smaller amount than the original contract. That contract would be in effect until 2026, but in January 2022, Mayor García Perez canceled it when that company’s owner, Oscar Santamaria, had already pleaded guilty to bribing other mayors.

Between 2017 and 2019, García Pérez awarded Waste Collection several contracts to remove debris totaling $2.9 million.

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