• The Star Staff

It’s on: Now NPP pols ask PDP counterparts to make staff members’ payroll info public

By The Star Staff

A group of New Progressive Party (NPP) members of the island House of Representatives and one candidate for a House seat demanded on Wednesday that Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Reps. Luis Raúl Torres, Ángel Matos García, José “Conny” Varela, Lydia Méndez and Rafael “Tatito” Hernández -- all of whom are seeking re-election -- make public a detailed and complete listing of their employees, including salaries, timesheets and assigned tasks from January 2013 to the present.

House candidate Yamilete González (District 21), along with NPP Reps. Sergio Estévez (District 40), José “Papo” Mercado (District 32), Isabelo “Chabelo” Molina (District 11) and Ricardo “Chino” Rey (District 2) -- who are also running for re-election -- gave the PDP lawmakers five days to provide the requested information, including budget disbursements and invoices from contractors.

“Today we are making an official request to Representatives Matos, Méndez, Hernández, Varela and Torres to provide us with each and every one of the invoices issued by all their contractors from January 2013 to September 2020,” the NPP candidates said in a written statement. “Likewise, we ask that the complete list of employees be delivered to us with a detailed description of their positions and assigned tasks, as well as the attendance sheets of each of these employees during the aforementioned period of time. Also, we ask for a complete breakdown of how they allocated their office budgets, including the purchases they made.”

The request for information is made under the protection of Act 141-2019, better known as the Transparency and Expedited Process for Access to Public Information Law.

“Residents of Districts 2, 11, 21, 32 and 40, which comprise the municipalities of San Juan, Dorado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Caguas, Carolina, Lajas, Guánica, Sabana Grande, Maricao and Yauco, have the right to know how the towns’ money has been spent,” the NPP candidates added. “We believe that there should be no problem in presenting the data within the requested term. If they do not do so, we will be going to court to ask for help and to rule in favor of transparency and the publication of these data in the public domain.”

One of the PDP legislators, Matos García, agreed to share the data.

“I authorize the House of Representatives @CamaraConPR to deliver all information related to the fiscal management of our office,” Matos García said in a written communication. “To those who now ask for transparency, I invite you to join the legal lawsuit filed by citizens and @ppdpr so that all spending information in the legislature is delivered #sinmiedo.”

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