• The Star Staff

Vega Alta mayor calls out NPP rival over $320,000 in contracts with House of Representatives

By John McPhaul


Vega Alta Mayor Oscar “Can” Santiago Martínez reacted on Tuesday to revelations from an investigation of Comptroller’s Office files that his New Progressive Party rival for the mayorship of the northern island town, María Vega, has accumulated more than $320,000 in contracts in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives during the current four-year term.

“I received a report from the records of the Comptroller’s Office that show what the residents of Vega Alta have been suspecting for a few years and that is that mayoral candidate María Vega is part of the festival of contracts awarded by the speaker of the House,” Santiago Martínez, a member of the Popular Democratic Party, said in a written statement on Tuesday. “The most unusual thing is that the contracts are supposed to be for administrative consultancy, when there are many more people doing the same work. In a country with the fiscal crisis that we are seeing, it is incredible that this is happening.”

The mayor, who is running for a second term, directly called on Vega to present a public report showing the work she has done on behalf of the people of Vega Alta.

“She has already been a representative to the House,” he said. “Ask in Vega Alta if anyone remembers what work she did for our people.”

Last Friday the House of Representatives published a list of employees, positions and salaries, in the face of public pressure and after a lawsuit was filed against House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez.