June 19, 2021

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PFEI files case against former mayor of Guánica

The Panel on the Special Independent Prosecutor (PFEI) issued a resolution today, through which it has the file of the case against the former mayor of Guánica Martín 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 Sanchez 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 aforementioned information, the work “Flor del Aire” is the only one that could not be located. However, there is no proof that anyone appropriated it. The Panel Resolution cites the Department of Justice report by stating that “Mayor Martín 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 the four (4) years following their resignation from office.

Former Mayor Martín Vargas Morales ceased his duties more than nine years ago, for which reason the Panel lacks jurisdiction to address this matter.

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