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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Ex-senator who is running again says Pierluisi campaign workers have positions of trust in Education Dept.



Carlos Díaz Sánchez, third from left

By The Star Staff


Former senator and current at-large Senate candidate under the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) banner, Carlos Díaz Sánchez, accused Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urritia’s administration on Wednesday of using the Department of Education to finance the payroll of his political campaign workers.


Díaz Sánchez issued a list of individuals working in the Education Department in positions of trust for a total payroll of $700,000 per month who also work in the governor’s campaign. He said the list contains at least 94 names.


Neither La Fortaleza nor Pierluisi’s campaign answered requests for comment made via email by the STAR.


Among the candidates for an elective position is Leyda Cruz Berríos, an at-large Senate candidate under the New Progressive Party (NPP) banner earning a monthly salary of $7,684.95. Cruz Berríos was sanctioned in the past for doing political work during working hours while she served as president of the pro-statehood public servants organization.


The list includes Wendy Lee Colón Martínez, a candidate for the Humacao Senate district seat, who makes $7,897 as a special assistant, according to the list; Odalys Aponte Jiménez, the wife of Highways Authority Authority Director Edwin González Montalvo and a special assistant who is listed as earning $5,061; Gustavo Meza Buelvas, who is a coordinator of San Juan Public Servants and is a special assistant at the agency listed as earning $6,638.10; Víctor Torres González, a political coordinator at the NPP and a special assistant at the agency who is listed as making $4,312 per month; and Paula Rodríguez Homs, a regional political coordinator at the NPP and regional superintendent at the agency who is listed as earning $8,050. The latter two are former lawmakers.


Likewise, former Guánica Mayor Santos Seda Nazario is a mobilization coordinator at the NPP and executive IV listed at $5,399 a month at the agency. Noel Toro Zambrana is a political coordinator at the NPP who also works as executive assistant for a listed $9,142 a month at the agency.


“All have political positions in the campaign of the NPP president and governor Pedro Pierluisi,” Díaz Sánchez said.


Others on the payroll are Evelyn del Moral Rosario, an electoral coordinator for the NPP Humacao region and regional superintendent making $8,050 per month, according to the list, and Roberto Rodríguez Santiago, an electoral coordinator for the Ponce region who is also a regional superintendent at the agency and is listed as making $8,050 per month.


Díaz Sánchez, a former NPP senator and representative who disaffiliated from the party two years ago, pointed out that “all those who make up the list have political functions in Governor Pierluisi’s campaign, some in electoral functions, others as mobilizers and even in communications.”


“This excessive and even sick desire of Pierluisi and his campaign team to win the primaries against Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González at any cost leaves children and young people without funds to acquire better equipment, physical facilities and even specialized services,” the Senate candidate said.

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