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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Fiscal board warns salary hikes for trust employees may violate PROMESA

El director ejecutivo de la Junta de Supervisión Fiscal de Puerto Rico, Robert Mujica.

By The Star Staff

The Financial Oversight and Management Board gave Office of Management and Budget Director Juan Blanco Urrutia until Friday to submit all personnel transactions for trust employees for the past 180 days after warning that recent salary hikes for government trust employees may be illegal.

“Any salary increases for trust employees implemented outside of the budget process and without prior approval of the Oversight Board would be contrary to the Oversight Board’s fiscal and budgetary authority as established under PROMESA,” said a letter written by the oversight board’s executive director, Robert Mujica.

The oversight board noted that it became aware through public sources that salary increases were recently approved for an undisclosed number of central government trust employees. The action occurred even though the Human Resources Administration and Transformation Office is currently evaluating certain remuneration plans for central government trust positions in collaboration with the oversight board, Mujica said.

Former New Progressive Party Sen. Carlos Díaz Sánchez, who is now running for senator under the Popular Democratic Party, accused Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia last month of using government agencies to pay his campaign workers juicy salaries by putting them in positions of trust.

First, Díaz Sánchez identified and referred to federal authorities a list of aspiring politicians, former politicians, and Pierluisi campaign collaborators who occupy positions of trust in the Department of Education and are pulling down juicy salaries.

He said the government was spending $700,000 a month, benefiting 93 people, of which 90 are directly working in the governor’s campaign as trust staff under Secretary of Education Yanira Raíces Vega.

The Senate candidate denounced a similar scheme in the Puerto Rico Firefighters Bureau. He said that during April and May 2023, 42 promotions were granted, and all who benefited from those promotions worked in Pierluisi’s campaign as outpost and field operations staff.

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