Justice Dept. recommends special prosecutor in Land Authority embezzlement case
By The Star Staff
Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández on Thursday recommended to the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI by its Spanish initials) the appointment of a special independent prosecutor to investigate the former executive director of the Puerto Rico Land Authority (ATPR), Dorally Rivera Martínez, and other former officials of that public corporation, which is attached to the island Department of Agriculture, for alleged embezzlement of funds allocated by the Legislative Assembly.
At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, the Department of Justice’s Division of Public Integrity and Office of Comptroller Affairs (DIPAC by its Spanish acronym) determined sufficient cause to believe that Rivera Martínez, former former ATPR Finance Director Astrid Rivera Febres, and the director of the Rural Infrastructure and Permanent Improvements Program, Miguel Santiago Irizarry, committed the crime of embezzlement of public funds, as provided in Article 264 of the island criminal code.
In addition, during the investigation, information was obtained that the former executive director authorized the use of an official ATPR vehicle for Santiago Irizarry’s private use. In evaluating the information, the DIPAC concluded that sufficient cause exists to believe that both also violated Article 4.2(b) of Law 1-2012, known as the Puerto Rico Government Ethics Act.