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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Cataño mayor says employee detained by feds not under investigation

By The Star Staff

Cataño Mayor Julio Alicea Vasallo said over the weekend that an employee who was arrested on Friday by U.S. Postal Service agents at the facilities of the municipality’s Department of Public Works is not the target of any investigation, according to what he was told.

“Since the incident occurred [Friday] afternoon, in which federal agents of the United States Postal Service appeared at the facilities of the Department of Public Works, we have maintained communication with these authorities to inquire about the cause of the visit,” the mayor said. “As I told the media yesterday, I was greatly surprised by the intervention and I was not notified of the exact reasons for that intervention, nor for the presence of approximately a dozen federal agents.”

However, we have been informed today that the municipal employee, whom I did not identify, nor will I identify, in a show of respect, was transported from our facilities to be interviewed,” Alicea Vasallo said in a written statement.

The mayor said he personally witnessed the moment when the handcuffs were placed on the individual and he was taken away in an official vehicle. However, the authorities told the mayor that the individual is not the subject of investigation and that he was going to be questioned as part of an ongoing investigation.

“These procedures have nothing to do with administrative procedures as a municipal employee,” the mayor said. “We were also informed that, by security protocol, the agents are obligated to place handcuffs on any civilian who accompanies them in an official vehicle. As soon as his interview ended in the offices of the federal entity, we were informed that the employee left in the company of a relative and that they don’t foresee filing charges for the incident for which they interviewed him. We regret this unfortunate incident and reiterate that this employee is a model of hard work and commitment to his people.”

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