Special independent prosecutor assigned to lawmaker’s financial report case
By The Star Staff
The Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor (OFEI by its Spanish initials) has assigned a prosecutor to investigate Citizen Victory Movement Rep. Mariana Nogales Molinelli after accepting a recommendation made by the island Department of Justice.
The OFEI said the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel appointed Ramón M. Mendoza Rosario as special independent prosecutor to conduct an investigation into the preliminary findings submitted by the Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández. The legal course of the investigation began after three complaints were filed in the Justice Department.
The report sent to the OFEI by the Justice Department’s Division of Public Integrity and its Comptroller Affairs Division alleges several irregularities on the part of Nogales Molinelli that could constitute criminal actions. The report raises discrepancies in the lawmaker’s financial report to the Legislature.
Justice Department officials maintain that the legislator failed to include relevant and substantial information about her properties, participations, appointments or positions held, both in private corporations and in government. The information in the Legislature’s financial report is submitted under penalty of perjury.
Early this year, the lawmaker acknowledged that the corporation Ocean Front Villas, in which she appears as main officer, is the owner of a luxury apartment in Palmas del Mar, Humacao, which she did not mention in her report.
As a result, the special independent prosecutor will try to determine whether the lawmaker paid her property taxes and room taxes on the apartment.
Mendoza Rosario has about 90 days to complete the probe.