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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP files ethics complaint against NPP lawmaker




By The Star Staff


Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary General Gerardo “Toñito” Cruz Maldonado announced Wednesday the filing of an ethics complaint in the House Ethics Committee against New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. José “Memo” González Mercado for omitting income from a business he owns in his ethics reports.


“Given [media] reports that NPP Rep. José ‘Memo’ González has not included in his financial reports any income from a food and beverage business in Arecibo of which he is a co-owner, I have filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee because the legislator has not been transparent in his explanations,” Cruz Maldonado said.


The lawmaker said he has not received any revenues from the business.


The legislator must make public the corporation’s expense sheets to remove all doubt as to whether or not it is true that he has not received some type of economic benefit or enjoyed profit from the business, the PDP official said.


“Furthermore, corporations can distribute dividends at any time and González has to clarify if he has received any dividend,” Cruz Maldonado said.


González Mercado did not inform the Government Ethics Office of any disbursement of funds from the acquisition of the business. Cruz Maldonado noted that the lawmaker’s failure to respond to the allegations violates House Resolution 326, known as the Rules of Ethical Conduct of the House of Representatives.


Section W says that “Representatives, officials, and directors of agencies must submit to the Office of Government Ethics the financial reports or any additional information related to them requested by a said government agency for its evaluation, analysis, and recommendation, as provided by established Law 1-2012, as amended, known as the “Government Ethics Act of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of 2011.”


The PDP leader referred to another section of the House resolution whereby the legislator must comply with Article 5.4 of the Government Ethics Law.

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