House Ethics Committee clears Rep. Nogales Molinelli
By John McPhaul
The final report of the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives found no basis to impose any sanction on Citizens Victory Movement Rep. Mariana Nogales Molinelli for the referral from the Government Ethics Office (OEG by its Spanish initials) last October regarding her request to amend her personal financial report, the lawmaker announced on Wednesday.
“It is important to be clear that at no time did I misrepresent in filing the amended financial report. I was always asking to be allowed to amend the document just to add to Section 3 the information that was included in the amended copy provided, which I was never allowed to do,” Nogales Molinelli said in a written statement. “At no time did I submit a false document nor was there an attempt to alter, limit, suppress or destroy an authentic one. What I tried to do was precisely complete the information before the OEG, which could no longer be amended through the electronic system because it was before the Committee. Attributing to me any other illegal intention is totally unsustainable by the facts and by law.”
“This request for amendment was in response to a request for information made by the Ethics Committee to clarify the purpose of the order I made on this matter to the Committee itself, of which I am also a member,” the legislator added. “As is known, the Committee did not accept the amendments to complete the information in the report. But it was evident to me, and now the Committee concludes, that I only tried to supply information that the OEG did not allow me to include. I am pleased that the facts were clarified to the satisfaction of the members of the Committee and that, at the executive hearing on Dec. 20, my legal representative, Mr. Eduardo Villanueva Muñoz, had the opportunity to confront the OEG staff about these facts.”
In its final report filed on Feb. 16, the House Ethics Committee “determines by preponderance of evidence that there is no substantial basis to impose a sanction in the complaint.” It concludes that the document presented by the legislator “did not mislead the Committee’’ and “that representative Nogales Molinelli did not intend to commit fraud when presenting the Amended Financial Report regarding Section 3 to the Ethics Committee.”