A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds. The suspects are the mayor of the southwest town of Sabana Grande and the former directors of finance for the northern town of Toa Baja, which has struggled to pay its employees amid an 11-year recession.
U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told reporters that the former officials from Toa Baja are accused of using nearly $5 million worth of federal funds to pay the town’s public employees and municipal contractors.
“Not only is that illegal, it’s immoral,” she said.
Officials said former finance director Victor Cruz Quintero deposited some $2.5 million worth of funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development into the town’s general and payroll accounts in October 2014.
He also is accused of making similar deposits and transfers of more than $1.75 million in funds from HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services from September 2014 to February 2016.
Toa Baja’s former interim finance director, Angel Roberto Santos Garcia, is accused of making similar transactions worth $650,000 using funds from those two federal agencies.
It was not immediately clear if Cruz and Santos had attorneys.
Rodriguez said the investigation into alleged corruption in Toa Baja is ongoing because officials believe other people are involved.
Federal authorities said that Mayor Miguel Ortiz is accused of defrauding the federal government of nearly $3 million in a separate scheme that began in 2013 and ended in 2016.
Officials said he is accused of financing projects without prior approval from Puerto Rico’s Department of Education and obtaining funds after misrepresenting the projects’ cost. Authorities said contracted companies and the municipality then received amounts much higher than what was outlined.
Ortiz also is accused of receiving nearly $33,000 in cash from one of the companies and its owner.
A spokeswoman for Ortiz could not be immediately reached for comment.
The arrests come as Puerto Rico struggles to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure a portion of its $70 billion public debt load.
Of course, we’ll never forget when the Puerto Rican mayor went from stupid to downright delusional, accusing President Trump of committing “genocide” on Puerto Ricans.
Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, fired off the bizarre accusation in a text message sent to Rep. Luis “The Roach” Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat of Puerto Rican heritage who has been whining for more handouts for the island in the wake of two hurricanes, reports the Washington Times.
“I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE,” the mayor said in the statement, which she asked Mr. Gutierrez to read on the House floor or at a press conference.
“I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls,” the mayor continued.
The delusional, lying Mayor has been at odds with President Trump for weeks. But when Trump said the federal government is fully invested, and the hurdles to recovery are on the island itself, she went into full Marxist propaganda mode.
In a twitter post, President Trump advised the island territory that federal help couldn’t go on indefinitely.
Now, now Mr President. You know the #Democrats there will expect you to coddle them & rebuild everything without any effort on their part.
— overpasses4America (@o4america) October 12, 2017
The mayor, though, has demanded life be handed to her, and other Puerto Ricans on a silver platter, and is furious that President Trump would obey laws regarding disaster relief, such as needing to have Puerto Rican authorities ask for certain assistance.
Despite the deranged Mayor’s accusations of genocide, Congress is rushing to pass a $37.7 billion measure to replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funds and boost other loan programs that help communities recover.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk