PDP candidates to House speaker: Cancel Mundo’s legislative contracts totaling nearly $1.6 million
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
Popular Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidates Juan José “Pepe” Ortiz and Keyliz Méndez, along with District 1 (San Juan) Senate candidate Jesús Manuel Laboy, called on House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez on Wednesday to immediately cancel contracts with House strategist Edwin Mundo that reach nearly $1.6 million.
Ortiz said it was inconsistent that Méndez Nuñez would justify austerity measures on the part of Puerto Rican citizens when he allowed during the current four-year term the hiring of Mundo and his KEM Co. by 11 legislative offices for a total of $1,597,000.
“Mundo, in addition to having contracts with Méndez [Nuñez] amounting to $359,000, also provides professional services to New Progressive Party [NPP] District 3 Rep. Juan Oscar Morales for $332,000,” said Ortiz, who is running for the same San Juan District 3 seat in the House. “The question we must ask ourselves is this: How did the $332,000 in contracts benefit the District 3 communities? Because, today, the district’s conditions are disastrous. At every corner, we see clandestine dumps, neglected parks that have gone without weeding since February; the conditions of the roads are terrible, especially in the Santo Domingo, Venezuela, Buen Consejo, Montecarlo and Country Club sectors. If the municipality has not responded, it is the representative’s duty, along with the central government, to act and identify the resources.”
House at-large candidate Méndez said meanwhile that, besides Méndez Nuñez and Morales, other NPP lawmakers have contracts with Mundo, such as District 8 Rep. Yashira M. Lebrón for $201,000, District 18 Rep. José “Che” Pérez Cordero for $84,000, District 14 Rep. José “Memo” González Mercado for $60,000, District 33 Rep. Ángel Peña Ramírez for $9,000, At-Large Rep. Nestor Alonso Vega for $12,000, District 23 Rep. Victor M. Torres for $32,000, and District 4 Rep. Víctor Parés for $257,000.
“As the people continue to pay for the wrong decisions of an unstable and unscrupulous government, we see money being wasted in the House of Representatives,” Méndez said.
“This is why we are calling on Speaker Méndez [Nuñez] to cancel the contracts with Edwin Mundo, which are still active. This situation is unsustainable and there is no justification for maintaining such exorbitant contracts, especially when the country demands prudence from its elected officials.”
Laboy said the principles of merit and excellence should be brought back to the legislative assembly.
“In decision making, the guiding principles of academic preparation, and years of experience and service in order to be hired to address or solve the problems of the district of San Juan and Puerto Rico must prevail,” the Senate candidate said.