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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Dog park case against former Guaynabo mayor shelved by PFEI


Former Guaynabo mayor Ángel Pérez Otero

By The Star Staff


The Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (PFEI by its Spanish initials) shelved the case against Ángel Pérez Otero, the former mayor of Guaynabo, involving a contract for a dog park, coinciding with the recommendation of Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández, the PFEI announced on Thursday.


“We reviewed the evidence submitted and agreed with the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice,” the PFEI said.


The case began with a petition from Guaynabo Mayor Edward O’Neill Rosa, who requested an investigation into the possible illegal actions of former mayor Pérez Otero in a collaborative agreement with the private entity I Love Dogs.


The agreement involved the disbursement of public funds for the construction and development of a dog park on the corporation’s land, without, supposedly, yielding benefits for the municipality or citizens.


The Justice Department’s Division of Public Integrity and Comptroller Affairs (DIPAC by its Spanish acronym) conducted the preliminary investigation. In its report, DIPAC concluded that insufficient evidence existed to establish cause to believe that the former mayor had engaged in criminal conduct.


“The contract was made following all applicable regulations and had the authorization of the Municipal Legislature of Guaynabo,” DIPAC said. “We found no evidence of violation of Puerto Rico’s criminal laws or government ethics.”


The report also clarified that Pérez Otero as mayor had the legal authority to contract with natural and legal persons in addition to obtaining authorization from the municipal assembly.


In addition, DIPAC determined that there was no evidence that Pérez Otero used his position or public funds to obtain unauthorized benefits for himself or I Love Dogs.

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