The San Juan Daily Star
PDP lawmakers file ethics complaint against governor alleging ‘message of high political content’
By The Star Staff
A group of Popular Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia for using public resources to enhance his political image.
The majority party legislators in the House of Representatives said the video message had no public goal, was of a “political” nature and used public resources.
Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González said the Jan. 9 message was submitted to the Government Ethics Office, the Office of the Electoral Comptroller and the Comptroller’s Office.
“We want this message of high political content and lacking in public interest to be investigated,” said Ortiz González, an aspiring gubernatorial candidate under the PDP banner. “There has been a use of public assets for a political message.”
According to the politician, the message “was sent from La Fortaleza thanks to the work of public employees, and uses public infrastructure and goods.”
In addition, he said, “the distribution was made through official email accounts of public employees.”
“The messages were not sent to personal emails,” the lawmaker said.
Ortiz González added that “public employees’ emails were used to distribute political messages during working hours, including emails from the State Elections Commission.”
“They were received in thousands of emails from public servants in Puerto Rico,” he charged.
“The video message was distributed days after Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón let her followers see that she could be challenging the governor [in the 2024 general elections],” Ortiz González continued. “In response, the governor offered this message released by La Fortaleza, which lacks a public purpose and justification.”
The opposition lawmaker charged that the governor “is devoting efforts, including using public assets, to win the internal primary.”
“It is a message without information, obviously of a political nature and a response to González Colón,” he said.
The governor gives two messages in a year that are an “obligation,” Ortiz González said: the State of the Commonwealth message and the budget message, “and neither were sent in emails from public employees during working hours.”
PDP Reps. Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos, Sol Higgins and José Rivera Madera also attended the press conference.
Pierluisi said the complaint “is a political ploy” without justification.
“Well, I don’t have the details, but that appears to be an exercise in politicking,” he told the press Tuesday. “From the information that comes to me, they are complaining about a report that I gave to the people regarding everything we are doing, initiatives in progress, and likewise my vision regarding the immediate future.”