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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Jury ordered to continue deliberating in ex-Guaynabo mayor’s corruption case

Former Guaynabo mayor Ángel Pérez Otero speaks to reporters outside the federal court in Hato Rey.

By The Star Staff

After a jury of 12 people retired to deliberate on Wednesday afternoon in the U.S. District Court in Hato Rey, former mayor of Guaynabo Ángel Pérez Otero reiterated upon leaving the court that he never reached a contractual agreement with businessman Oscar Santamaría.

A short while later, the judge in the case, Aida Delgado, ordered the jury to continue deliberating into the evening, according to media reports. No verdict had been reached as of press time.

“Thank God this will soon reach the culmination as I had indicated,” Pérez Otero said after the jury retired to deliberate. “As I have told you, we trust first in God the Father, then in the impartiality of the jury that can really see what this was. So we’re waiting.”

“I think one of the most important things is that when my defense asked Oscar [Santamaria], and I think it was made clear, to whom he had made a quid pro quó, with whom he had entered into agreements, and I do not know if you reported it, he mentioned three municipalities, he repeated it and he mentioned Cataño, he mentioned Aguas Buenas and he mentioned Trujillo Alto,” Pérez Otero said. “He did not mention Guaynabo. And he knows it; no agreement was ever reached.”

Asked if he was prepared to receive a guilty verdict, Pérez Otero, who was also president of the Mayors Federation and a New Progressive Party lawmaker in the island House of Representatives, replied: “We are going to wait.”

“I’m not going to cross the river,” he said. “So, right now. I don’t know if the jury will reach a verdict today, but we’re going to wait.”

Pérez Otero declined to answer directly if he did indeed receive bribes.

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