• The San Juan Daily Star

House panel to investigate irregularities involving Salvemos a Puerto Rico

Several Popular Democratic Party legislators questioned the decision of the electoral comptroller not to accept a complaint filed to investigate the super political action committee Salvemos a Puerto Rico.

By The Star Staff

The House Anticorruption and Public Integrity Committee is slated to investigate irregularities detected in the super political action committee (PAC) Salvemos a Puerto Rico, several Popular Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers announced Monday.

At a news conference, the PDP legislators questioned the decision of the electoral comptroller not to give way to a complaint filed to investigate Salvemos a Puerto Rico (Let’s Save Puerto Rico). Recently, the head of the super PAC, Joseph Fuentes Fernández, pleaded guilty to federal charges of falsifying and covering up the true identities of political donors that contributed some $495,000 to the super PAC by concealing their identities through two shell corporations.

The PDP had asked the electoral comptroller to investigate if there was coordination between the super PAC and the electoral campaign of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, which would be a violation of local laws. The electoral comptroller rejected the complaint because it did not comply with requirements, as complainants are required to have personal knowledge of the events.

PDP Reps. Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos and Héctor Ferrer Santiago detailed the inconsistencies shown by the Office of the Electoral Comptroller when evaluating different complaints, among them one presented by Jorge Dávila about the super PAC, a complaint involving the campaign of former Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced and a complaint against former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares. They were all resolved in a different way, which shows an inconsistency when dealing with them, the lawmakers said.

Ferrer Santiago asked the Treasury Department to investigate whether any donor to the super PAC scheme benefited from the political donation made through one of the non-profit corporations created to circumvent federal electoral law.

The PDP leaders charged that the Treasury Department has not clarified whether any of the companies that donated through the non-profit corporations could have also claimed deductions on their income tax returns using the political campaign contributions.

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