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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Women’s advocate to launch probe into hiring of worker who killed colleague

By John McPhaul

Women’s Advocate Lersy Boria Vizcarrondo announced on Thursday that she notified the company that hired an individual with a criminal record, who ended up killing a female colleague, that she will be initiating an investigation to determine if there was negligence in the process.

“Clearly, there was negligence in hiring a person with an extensive criminal record,” Boria Vizcarrondo said in a written statement. “For this, we sent a request for information, because it is important to determine under what circumstances this man was hired.”

“We are talking about the life of a woman who could have been saved,” she added. “A woman who came to her workplace, hoping that she would be safe, but unfortunately she was exposed to danger and sadly she lost her life. She was put next to a person with a record for burglary, sodomy, rape and indecent exposure. It remains for us to watch over the employees who are still alive, and could be exposed to the same danger by a negligent employer.”

Bridge Security Services is the company where a man who confessed to having murdered another company employee on July 5 in Utuado worked as a security guard.

Meanwhile, and as a result of the information that has been disseminated through the media, Women’s Advocate personnel obtained details about an ongoing investigation in which employees of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) filed a lawsuit against the company for contractual matters.

“We found in our files a complaint for harassment against this employer,” Boria Vizcarrondo said. “This case, presented to Women’s Advocate, is under investigation and we will certainly reach the final consequences with the sole objective of protecting the victim.”

She noted that the request for information sent to the company by her office seeks to investigate the circumstances of the hiring of a person who provided security services, despite having an extensive criminal record, as well as determining the protocols that the company has, documents delivered by the accused, and results of the investigation conducted among neighbors and relatives, among others.

Boria Vizcarrondo said that in the case of having been hired for professional services, a certified copy of the contract, a list of required documents, documents provided by the contractor, a certified copy of invoices and a certified copy of work reports must be delivered to Women’s Advocate.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Boria Vizcarrondo has the power to impose fines, up to the revocation of the company’s operating license, as detailed in Article 17c of Law 108-1965.

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