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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Special prosecutor to look into whether ex-Guaynabo mayor broke the law in leasing of property


Former Guaynabo Mayor Ángel Pérez Otero

By The Star Staff


The Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel announced Tuesday a probe into whether federally convicted former Guaynabo Mayor Ángel Pérez Otero illegally gave the green light to the leasing of municipally owned property.


The panel appointed a Special Independent Prosecutor to investigate following a recommendation made by Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández.


Emilia E. Arill García and Leticia Pabón Ortiz will investigate as special independent prosecutor and delegated prosecutor, respectively.


According to the preliminary investigation report issued by the Justice Department’s Division of Public Integrity and Comptroller Affairs (DIPAC by its Spanish acronym), the case is based on an audit report.


The investigation found that Pérez Otero ceded the use of some facilities and municipal offices of the Guaynabo Medical Mall building to a private entity without the payment of rental fees and without the authorization of the City Assembly.


The then-mayor also later extended the lease for an additional nine months to the same company, violating the relevant legal provisions.


From the DIPAC report’s analysis and the evidence accompanying it, Pérez Otero may have violated Articles 262 and 264 of the Penal Code.


Special prosecutors Arill García and Pabón Ortiz will have 90 days to carry out the investigation.


A federal jury last month convicted Pérez Otero for engaging in a bribery scheme.


According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Pérez Otero, 52, was involved in a bribery conspiracy. From sometime in late 2019 through May 2021, he accepted thousands of dollars in cash bribes regularly from the owner of a construction company. In exchange for those payments, Pérez Otero agreed to obtain and retain contracts for the company and ensured that its invoices were promptly paid.


Pérez Otero was convicted of conspiracy, federal program bribery, and extortion. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the extortion charge and 10 years in prison on the bribery charge.

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