Special independent prosecutor appointed to look into Arecibo hirings
By The Star Staff
After an analysis of the record sent by the Department of Justice on the hiring of convicted felons by the Municipality of Arecibo, the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (PFEI by its Spanish initials) determined Wednesday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the mayor of that municipality, Carlos Ramírez Irizarry, regarding his alleged actions.
The members of the PFEI accepted the recommendation of Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández after agreeing that the mayor’s actions could constitute a crime.
“We have agreed to accept the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice,” the PFEI resolution states. “Consequently, we determined the designation of a special prosecutor to carry out the in-depth investigation of the alleged facts.”
The legal complaint that triggered the investigative process against the mayor was filed by Reps. José “Memo” González Mercado and Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló.
The legislators pointed out that Ramírez Irizarry knowingly hired former Sen. Maritere González López, who had been convicted at the state level, and Dr. Edgar Cancel Zapata, who had been convicted at the federal level, to work for the municipality while being aware of the convictions.
Those facts could entail violations of, among other provisions, Law 82017 for the Administration and Transformation of Human Resources in the Government, Law No. 1-2012 of the Office of Government Ethics, Law No. 2•2018 of the Anticorruption Code for New Puerto Rico, and Article 263 of the Penal Code 2012, as well as the Municipal Code.