The FEI Commission will bring charges against the Mayor of Mayaguez, José “Guillito” Rodriguez

The Office of the Independent Special Prosecutor’s Panel (Opfei) announced this Tuesday that it will file charges against the mayor of Mayaguez, Jose Guillermo Rodriguez “Gilito” and its financial director, Yahaira Valentine Andradis.

This announcement comes two weeks after the Independent Special Prosecutors (FEI), Miguel A. Ortiz Colon s Leticia Baboon OrtizThe culmination of an in-depth investigation with Rodriguez and Valentin Andrades. They had 30 days to say whether to press charges in the case.

The charges will be filed Wednesday at 9:00 am in San Juan District Court.

Obvi investigated Rodriguez on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds and failure to perform his duty, as well as violation of the Government Ethics Code.

On November 16, 2021, the Chairman of the Authority, Nidya Koto Vivesand former judges Ruben Velez Torres And the Tempting Rivera SanchezRecommendation accepted Department of Justice To conduct an in-depth investigation of the facts attributed to both officials relating to the use of public funds for unauthorized investments and transactions through Mayagüez Economic Development Inc. (MEDI) Municipality.

“Dangerous and accurate indications appear regarding the management of public funds, which include funds allocated by the Legislative Council of the said municipality,” reads the commission’s decision, which ordered an in-depth investigation. He added that, “Similarly, it was concluded that some dealings with municipal assets could have been conducted in contravention of the provisions of the law.”

In September 2021, the Minister of Justice, Emmanuel Sundayrecommended that the FEI be assigned to the municipal executive for possible embezzlement of public funds, breach of duty, and violation of Section 4.2(b) of the Government Ethics Code.

This subsection of the Code of Ethics provides that a public servant shall not use the duties and powers of his office, public property, or money to obtain, directly or indirectly, for himself or for a private person or company, any benefit that is not permitted by law.

Justice’s preliminary investigation arose from a request for investigation submitted by the representative of New Progressive Jose “Quiqueto” Melendez Ortiz Yet, in March of this year, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, in English) Several Mayaguez mayor advisors accused of fraud against the city council have been arrested.

In its referral to Obvi, Justice noted that the mayor and chief financial officer had put Mayaguez Recreation and Sports Palace and San Antonio Hospital at risk when they transferred the property to Medie with the intent of using it as collateral for loans and mortgages.

In March, Rodriguez was immediately suspended by the Unit for Administrative Disciplinary Actions (UPAD).

This determination forced him to immediately cease his duties as mayor, although he is still mayor of the city, since it is a job chosen by the residents’ vote. Rodríguez, a member of People’s Democratic Party (PPD), has been in charge of the mayor’s office for 27 years.

In written statements, PDP President, José Luis Dalmao Santiago, indicated that, since December 31, Rodriguez had been suspended from mayor and from his political positions, “Until the dispute is finally and decisively resolved.”.

“With regard to the charges that the FIE can bring, the mayor is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, so he should be given space to carry out the proceedings in the country’s courts,” Dalmao Santiago said.

The San Juan Municipal Press Office indicated that they will not make any statements at this time.

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