boss General Services Administration (ESG), Carla Mercado RiveraHe claimed, today, Friday, that he received a phone call from the office of the new progressive representative Gabriel Rodriguez Aguilo So that the agency he runs prefers to appoint a private company.
The official did not specify the company in question, but said that it provides “asphalt” services, which was later denied by the legislator.
“Staff in Representative Rodriguez Aguilo’s office have contacted trusted employees trying to hire a particular company,” Mercado said in a radio interview with WKAQ 580. “Sure, the act, in and of itself, is not an illegal act, but yes, in the competitive processes you introduce what transparency means.”
Mercado Rivera confirmed that the call was to “arrange his employment” in relation to the company.
The ASG director confirmed that the contract with that company had not been implemented.
Because the Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael “Tateto” Hernandezoutside the island, the popular legislator Angel MatosHe, who is acting president, confirmed that he had instructed the House Finance Committee to launch an investigation into Mercado Rivera’s allegations.
“I have been instructed to hold a public hearing on the complaint submitted by (Mercado Rivera), under R. de la C. 763 filed on May 24, 2021. This procedure was approved unanimously on June 7, 2022, for the purpose of investigating and evaluating the implementation of the provisions of the Act 73-2019, as amended, otherwise known as the “Puerto Rican Public Services Administration Centralization Act of 2019,” via the legislator in written statements.
“The Treasury will conduct this hearing, and I have entrusted my partner, Jesus Santa, to ensure that the witness is promptly presented and that all the guarantees given by the Chamber’s bylaws are given.”abounded.
Meanwhile, Mercado Rivera has defended an executive order recently issued by the governor Peter Pierluisi To speed up contracting, which includes those related to reconstruction projects.
In turn, he responded to reports that the legislature will seek to amend the ESG Act, because – apparently – it needs to speed up recruitment.
He pointed out that there is no “path” that maintains the accumulation while following appropriate procedures to implement government appointments.
Mercado Rivera said, before reporting the call from the rep’s office.
He noted, “The same thing happened with the Land Authority. This misperception was created that legislative donations were like a funnel in the ASG, when we didn’t receive a single purchase order for processing at that time to the Land Authority.”
He added, “They came to summon me to the public hearings when they made those expressions, and this was clarified and said, but in any case they kept repeating the same thing, but my duty is to make it clear that it is not entirely true.”
Mercado Rivera confirmed that his administration expressed its opposition to “the Land Authority going through the ASG because we were aware of what was happening in the Land Authority and we told the La Fortaleza staff and everyone who told us that. They ask questions about it.”
Rodriguez Aguilo has denied the complaint
Representative Rodríguez Aguiló, for his part, denied the version presented by the ASG director.
The legislator confirmed that he denied the complaint after he called all his office staff to verify the veracity of Mercado Rivera’s statements.
Rodríguez Aguiló (WKAQ 580AM) confirmed: “All employees confirm that they have not made any calls or any steps in favor of any asphalt company at the agency operated by this distinguished attorney.”
“I, Gabriel Rodriguez Aguilo, have never approached her, her employees, or anyone in an agency for the benefit of any company, let alone an asphalt company.”
The lawmaker said he could not accuse Mercado Rivera of “making it up”, but questioned why he had not spoken to him directly when the alleged call came in. He noted that after receiving “a call like that, the first thing they have to do is check the person calling, if it’s really an employee of the legislator’s office, in this case from my office, because many tricks are being played here.”
However, he hinted that Mercado Rivera’s expressions could be a “political” move to “smear” his name, after he said yesterday on a PBS that there is “repression” in the ASG.
“I know where this is coming from,” he commented. “This comes because I’ve been candid about the cases we’re facing in the Puerto Rican government through ASG auctions.”
He added, “I’m not accusing her or her staff of being incompetent or having an evil in what they do, but they made all purchases centralized, so that there is transparency and there are no auctions in all places like crazy.” And with things like those that happened before. But given the volume of contracts, it has fallen behind.”
She explained that after her expression on TV, “Maybe she’s, because of her bravery, because she knows we’re introducing legislation to try to make the ASG Act more efficient, because she’s giving me a political blow, and she’s trying to sully my name, which I won’t let her or anyone else do.”
Although his office staff denied making the alleged call, Rodriguez Aguilo confirmed that he would continue to investigate the allegation and called on Mercado Rivera to inform him of who called and the name of the company.
She said, “She calls me or puts it in writing if she doesn’t want to call me because she is upset with me because I criticize the things they do at ASG.”
“If I can verify that any employee in my office acted in this way, there will be consequences,” he said.