Official: Ex-Guaynabo mayor trimmed audit office, dissolved legal division
By John McPhaul
Luis Ruíz, the director of internal auditing for the Municipality of Guaynabo, alleged on Tuesday at the municipality’s transition hearings that former mayor Ángel Pérez Otero redirected resources from the office and dissolved the Legal Division.
“The staff of employees currently only has five auditors, while in 2017 there were 12,” Ruíz said during the hearings directed by the former comptroller Manuel Díaz Saldaña. “We requested five additional auditors from Mayor Pérez Otero to achieve the scope of the work, but there was no interest. We did not have scope to know if there was corruption or bribery. He also dissolved the Legal Division that was supervising and notifying us of the things that were happening.”
In response to questions from Díaz Saldaña and certified public accountant Carlos García Rosado, the municipal official alleged that the office was previously under the supervision of the mayor, but when Pérez Otero arrived, it was assigned to the office of the deputy mayor and an adviser and assistant to the mayor, Ramón Meléndez Orsini, who later became the municipal head of federal affairs.
Transition committee chairman Díaz Saldaña questioned whether any intervention by the mayor with the audits occurred, to which the director replied “he only limited himself to not giving me personnel and endorsing the lack of cooperation of the departments.”
Díaz Saldaña recommended that the supervision of the Internal Audit Office be transferred to the municipal legislature.