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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Comptroller: Several Río Grande municipal officials are under investigation



Río Grande Mayor Ángel González Damudt

By The Star Staff


After the island Justice Department recommended the appointment of a special independent prosecutor to investigate Río Grande Mayor Ángel González Damudt over irregularities in the rental of vehicles, Assistant Comptroller David de Jesús said Wednesday that other municipal officials are under investigation.


De Jesús confirmed in a radio report that the situation with the rental of vehicles is not the only irregularity found in the northeast town’s operations.


The Comptroller’s Office initiated an audit in the municipality that led them to identify transactions that raised a red flag not only against the mayor, but also against his former finance director, Luis Pagán Padró.


The assistant comptroller said the agency made the corresponding referrals to the Justice Department and to the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI by its Spanish initials).


De Jesús said the vehicle rental transactions are part of a report on municipal operations, but other transactions identified as part of that audit will be made public later.


“There are other situations related to the municipality’s operations …” he said. “They could be internal control situations or violations of the law. We will communicate about them at the appropriate time.”


De Jesús added that if federal funds were spent in the transactions, the corresponding authorities will establish whether there is relevant information that warrants further investigation.


Although he did not specify whether federal funds were used, the official confirmed the existence of transactions from the emergency period after the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.


The audit is related to the rental of vehicles to Allied Car & Truck Rental Inc. from August 2016 to December 2020 in which the comptroller says the municipality did not follow proper norms and rules on the use of public funds.

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