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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Special prosecutor appointed to investigate Hatillo mayor


Hatillo Mayor Carlos Román Román


By THE STAR STAFF


The Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (PFEI by its Spanish initials) determined this week to appoint a special independent prosecutor (FEI) to investigate Hatillo Mayor Carlos Román Román and the press officer of that municipality, José Padilla Romero.


The facts in the case originated with a complaint filed by William Rosales Concepción against the mayor for the alleged use of the facilities of the city council and municipal employees in the recording of an audiovisual spot for the purposes of his partisan political campaign.


The complaint alleges activities carried out by Román while serving as interim mayor, and in the context of his preparation for a special election held in May 2022.


Attorney General Domingo Emanuelli Hernández referred the case to the Justice Department’s Division of Public Integrity and Comptroller’s Affairs (DIPAC by its Spanish acronym).


As a result of its preliminary investigation, DIPAC concluded that there is sufficient cause to believe that Román Román and Padilla engaged in possible criminal conduct described in articles 5,012 and 13,000 of Law 222-2011, known as the Law for the Control of Political Campaigns in Puerto Rico.


Based on the findings of that investigation, DIPAC advised that an FEI be appointed, which was accepted by the Justice secretary, who in turn recommended the case to the PFEI.


“Having conducted a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the Department of Justice’s preliminary report, as well as the evidence collected accompanying that report and applicable law, we have determined to uphold the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice,” the PFEI states in its resolution dated Wednesday, Jan. 18.


Pursuant to that determination, the PFEI appointed Manuel Núñez Corrada as FEI and Zulma Fúster Troche, in her capacity as deputy prosecutor, to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged illegal conduct of municipal officials.


The resolution adds that the FEI and his deputy have a period of 90 days to carry out such an investigation

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