June 14, 2021

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PFEI files case against former mayor of Guánica Martín Vargas Morales

SAN JUAN – The Panel on the Special Independent Prosecutor (PFEI) issued a Resolution on Monday, by means of which it has the file of the case against the former mayor of Guánica Martin Vargas Morales.

This case originated with a reference to the PFEI of the Final Report of the Municipal Affairs Committee of the Senate of Puerto Rico (R of S 0070).

The investigation carried out began with a complaint filed by Mayor Santos Seda Nazario about works of art that were acquired with municipal funds during the tenure of former mayor Vargas Morales.

According to the report of the investigating prosecutor, Rafael Sánchez Hernández, both the reports of the Department of Justice and those of the Comptroller’s Office reveal that the acquired works were destined to be exhibited at the Pedro Juan Vargas Museum of Art and History.

According to the information mentioned above, the work “Flor del Aire” is the only one that has not been able to be located. However, there is no proof that anyone appropriated it.

The Panel Resolution cites the Department of Justice report by stating that, “Mayor Martin Vargas Morales did not exercise his highest judgment, which was neither prudent nor sensible.” In addition, it is pointed out that the cost of the works was excessive and extremely unnecessary.

However, in the case of events that occurred between 2006 and 2007, the possible crimes would be prescribed.

As of this date, it is of greater importance for the Panel that Article 4 of Lev 2-1988 provides that this entity will have jurisdiction over the officials within four (4) years after they have left office.

Former Mayor Martin Vargas Morales resigned more than nine years ago, which is why the Panel lacks jurisdiction to address this matter.

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