The San Juan Daily Star
Governor: Cousins’ expected guilty pleas have nothing to do with him or his campaigns
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia insisted Wednesday that the imminent federal conviction of his cousins Walter and Eduardo Pierluisi Isern will not affect his re-election campaign or stain his administration.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with my campaigns and my aspirations,” Pierluisi said, pointing out that situations his family is experiencing can occur in any family. “They did support me; sure, they did. Still, as attorney Osvaldo Carlo said, this has nothing to do with my political campaigns.”
Eduardo and Walter Pierluisi and a third individual are expected to plead guilty today to embezzling nearly $4 million in federal funds after allegedly inflating the bills of companies they ran and that were paid by another company, owned by Walter, in charge of managing public housing.
American Management & Administration Corp. began managing public housing in 1995.
“This has nothing to do with me,” the governor said. “My administration did not award contracts here.”
Pierluisi acknowledged that he will be the target of political attacks as a result of his cousins’ case and that they will “stain” his name.
“I am going to defend myself, and I am not going to allow them to hold me responsible for what does not involve me,” he said.
Last year, federal officials from the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development executed a search warrant at the facilities of American Management and Administration Corp.
Authorities also seized the brothers’ cell phones, and executed a search warrant at Eduardo Pierluisi’s residence.
Since its incorporation in 1995, American Management and Administration Corp. has had contracts for public housing administration in some 34 municipalities in Puerto Rico. Those contracts reportedly have been canceled.