• The San Juan Daily Star

OPFEI to file unspecified charges against ex-Santa Isabel mayor

By The Star Staff

The Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI) will file criminal charges against former Santa Isabel mayor Enrique “Quique” Questell Alvarado, the office announced Monday in a press release.

Charges will be filed Friday at 1 p.m. in the Ponce Superior Court, the OPFEI said.

The nature of the charges, however, is not clear.

The island Department of Justice conducted a preliminary investigation against the mayor that originated with allegations sent to that department by Reps. Estrella Martínez Soto and Héctor Ferrer Santiago, both members of the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers noted that on April 5, 2021, in a legislative hearing held by the Committee for the Development and Control of Public Funds of the South Central Region, Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Rafael Machargo Maldonado stated that during the summer of 2020 he met in a private residence of the then-mayor Questell Alvarado in relation to the pending lawsuit against him in the DNER.

Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández announced last December that an investigation revealed that the former mayor allegedly violated the law by appointing Carmen Rivera Torres to the position of interim director of finance of the municipality of Santa Isabel, in breach of the established requirements, and hindering the audit processes carried out by the Comptroller’s Office.

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