March 5, 2021

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FEI panel concurs with recommendation of the Department of Justice in case against mayor of Adjuntas

There was no wrongdoing in the use of public funds to pay for a student trip.


San Juan – The Panel on the Independent Special Prosecutor (OPFEI) accepted on Thursday, the recommendation of the Department of Justice (DJ) not to appoint a special prosecutor against the mayor of Adjuntas, Jaime Barlucea Maldonado, after establishing that there was no improper action in the use of public funds to pay for a student trip.

The complaint filed before Justice by the Comptroller’s Office about a student trip that occurred in 2013, alleged that people who did not qualify, took advantage of and enjoyed the benefits of the trip.

The most outstanding facts of the Comptroller’s Audit that were thoroughly investigated by Justice were the following: that although the mayor’s daughter was part of the trip, she fully paid for her participation in said trip, for which there was no disbursement of public funds for it ; the municipality was proactive in requiring the refund of a ticket issued in the name of a student who ultimately did not travel, but the travel agency, Holiday Group, refused to reimburse the cost upholding prior instructions from the airline.

In view of this analysis and the evidence compiled on it, no sufficient cause was found to believe that the mayor’s conduct could constitute a crime.

“We do not see criminal intent in his actions and even less, the intention of fraud on his part,” concludes the Panel upon concurring with the determination of the Department of Justice.

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