The San Juan Daily Star
NPP official: Comptroller’s audit exposes major corruption ‘rampage’ in Arroyo
By The Star Staff
The scandal uncovered by a Comptroller’s Office audit into the operations of a municipal corporation created by Arroyo Mayor Eric Bachier Román exposes the same pattern of corruption used by former Mayagüez Mayor José Guillermo Rodríguez, a New Progressive Party (NPP) official said.
Guillermo Irizarry Rodríguez, an NPP leader and pre-candidate for the Senate for the District of Guayama, made the remarks after examining the detailed report of the Comptroller’s Office, whose conclusions call into question the legality of the municipal corporation.
“This is a major brand rampage, which demonstrates the total contempt of the mayor of Arroyo for the laws and the current order,” he said. “Millions have been wasted on a trick that only disguises corruption.”
In the opinion of Irizarry Rodríguez, all the principles of fiscal responsibility, integrity and austerity have been violated at a time when the island is mired in bankruptcy.
“And every author, promoter and architect of all this scheme is Bachier,” asserted Irizarry Rodríguez, a former candidate for mayor of Villalba who holds a master’s degree in public administration. “It is his misappropriation of public funds that he supports with his power as mayor.”
The NPP official noted that the report contains strong statements that include the mayor acting without legal authority, the issuance of certain insurance payments in cash and the usurpation of powers by the mayor himself.
“This is a scandal of unsuspected proportions that must be dealt with without further delay by the Secretary of Justice,” commented Irizarry Rodríguez, who has already sent a letter to that department urging the investigation.
He insisted that the audit notes questionable withdrawals from a municipal debit, a lawsuit that was settled without authorization of the municipal assembly, and the issuance of checks without invoices to justify them.
“Not only did the mayor go over the Municipal Assembly by blatantly violating the Municipal Code, but that body has been complicit in his excesses by remaining silent and not defending its supervisory power,” Irizarry Rodríguez said. “This is how a town is destroyed!”