SIP agents visit Justice Dept. to determine who leaked report on probe of governor
By The Star Staff
Governor Wanda Vazquez on Wednesday asked the Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor (SIP) to overturn a decision to appoint a SIP to investigate her.
In a motion, Vazquez said that the document issued by the SIP shows that Ygri Rivera, a SIP panel member, was absent from the vote, which means the decision was not made with the required three votes. She also said one of the SIP members who voted to investigate her, Ruben Velez, is a supporter of her opponent in the primary race, Pedro Pierluisi. Velez Torres’s daughter works with the mayor of Arecibo, Carlos Molina, who also supports Pierluisi. Vazquez also noted that the referral made against her was done by former Justice Secretary Dennisse Longo, on the same day she was asked to resign by La Fortaleza.
The governor said the accusation that she fired Family Secretary Glorimar Andujar as a reprisal for having fired the head of ADSEF and in violation of the law. She said the allegation does not sustain itself because Andujar’s position is one of trust and the governor could remove her without providing explanations. Furthermore, the Family Secretary resigned from the position. The governor also denied she asked former Andujar to reinstate the ADSEF head but merely expressed concern that she was removed from the position based on anonymous allegations. The ADSEF head was suspended from the job but continues to receive a salary which prompted Vazquez to express concern about the use of public funds. In that regard, she asked Andujar whether the ADSEF head could be placed in another position while the matter was investigated.
Vazquez, on the other hand, said she found out about the contents of the report against her, which was leaked to the press while under the custody of the SIP, which denied being the source of the leak.
Four agents and a prosecutor SIP went to the Puerto Rico Justice Department on Wednesday to find out who leaked a report containing the details of the investigation being carried out against Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced and four other central government officials.
The information was provided by SIP press officer Luis de la Cruz to the San Juan Daily Star. He said Miguel Colón Ortiz, one of the prosecutors assigned to the investigation, went to the Justice Department with the agents, who also work at the SIP office.
He said everyone at the SIP office found out Tuesday night about the leak, but he did not say who gave the order to meet with Justice officials to uncover who leaked the report.
De la Cruz did not dismiss the possibility of a hacking.
“We don’t know,” he said. “We really do not know.”
The report, prepared by former Justice Secretary Dennise Longo Quiñones, was leaked to several media outlets Tuesday. It details that the governor may have violated the Anti-Corruption Code, after former Family Secretary Glorimar Andujar was fired for refusing to reinstate a subordinate who was suspended from the job for allowing New Progressive Party Sen. Evelyn Vázquez Nieves to involve herself with supplies destined for earthquake victims.
According to the report, for instance, Vázquez Nieves asked for some of the aid, which was originally destined for Guánica, to be sent to Ponce. The delivery of supplies was repeatedly delayed to allow the senator to be present during their disbursement, the report said.
The Special Independent Prosecutor Panel announced on Tuesday that there was cause to appoint an SIP to investigate.
The governor appointed Carlos Rodríguez as a member of the SIP, but the island House of Representatives declined to confirm him Tuesday.
The governor, meanwhile, said the legislative session on the matter was null and void because, among other alleged irregularities, the appointment had not yet been submitted for lawmakers’ consideration.