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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Charges against Ponce mayor ‘are embarrassing’

Ponce Mayor Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that charges of corruption like those faced by Ponce Mayor Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón “are embarrassing.”

“Every case of corruption, no matter where it comes from, no matter who the accused party is, it is reprehensible, it generates to a certain extent shame, annoyance with reason,” the governor said in response to questions from the press during an event at a Salinas solar farm. “That’s another one. There are four counts that I understand have brought serious charges against him. Now the process is running and I will be monitoring it. But it is certainly something very negative for the municipality of Ponce. At some point, if that case continues to develop, I am sure that the most advisable thing for that mayor is to focus on his defense so as not to distract attention from the administrative affairs of the municipality.”

The governor defended the effectiveness of the Office of the Independent Special Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI by its Spanish initials).

“When you look at the effectiveness of the panel, more than 90 percent of the cases that the prosecutors on the FEI panel see are successful,” Pierluisi said. In other words, what happens here is that when there is one in which the result is not what we want, then the panel is criticized.”

The charges filed against Irizarry Pabón include two violations of Article 4.2 of the Government Ethics Law, related to required financial reports, and another two of Article 251 of the Penal Code for unjustified enrichment. The case is presided over by Judge Adria Cruz Cruz.

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