August 4, 2021

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Longo: Governor seeks to “attack legitimacy of referrals” | government

The former secretary of the Department of Justice, Dennise Longo, described as "unfounded" the expressions that Governor Wanda Vázquez made today about what led her to request her dismissal last Friday.

"I am surprised by all the unfounded allegations that are being done against me today, ”he said in a radio interview (WKAQ 580). “The governor is making allegations that I participated in investigations in which I did not participate.”

A few hours ago, the governor explained that she ordered Longo's dismissal because she was involved in a federal investigation related to fraud with Medicaid funds. This, according to the governor, despite being inhibited from issues related to Health because her mother, Concepción Quiñones de Longo, was undersecretary of this agency.

“I am calm about this to these allegations, what happens is that it is a subterfuge, I believe, to attack the legitimacy of those referred to, "added Longo.

He clarified that, once he received the request for resignation from La Fortaleza, he moved to the facilities of Justice to attend to pending matters and to coordinate a transition to the next head of the agency —which at that time I was unaware of.

“In that sense, I sat down with the things that were pending, among them there were multiple investigations with the Integrity Division. Public. These were the six investigations where the reports had already been completed. I had been discussing them for weeks with the prosecutors who had presented those reports and we had discussed what the determination was, "he added.

Longo rejected the governor's claim that the six referrals were created on Friday, noting that one of the reports – related to the governor and the secretary of the Interior, Antonio Pabón – has 74 pages. He added that the other reports are around 106 pages, 18 pages and 14 pages.

“(To say) that we sit down and create those reports on Friday afternoon is to be disrespectful to the truth and to disrespect seriously. which both I and the prosecutors who carried out those investigations and who made those investigations lend to their processes, "he sentenced.

The former Justice Minister stated that on June 17 she received emails related to the investigation carried out by the Office of the Inspector General of the federal Health Department, to which he added that he did not enter into the interior of the case.

In the email, Longo asks Health Secretary Lorenzo González and others how they want to proceed with the federal investigation, and he made available for a meeting on the subject.

On June 24, the secretary of the Interior sent a letter to Longo in the who indicated that "it is my criterion that, in case this matter is referred (federal investigation) to the Department of Justice, it is delegated immediately and without any other action to the attention of another official or official of the Department of Justice" .

That same day, Longo proceeded to cancel the meeting he had scheduled to discuss the topic.

"Before a meeting was held on this matter, we activated the inhibition mechanism. This is how the lawyer (Miguel) Verdiales was notified. The person who will attend to this matter now will be the Acting Assistant Secretary, the Prosecutor Phoebe Isales, "Longo wrote in another email dated July 1.

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