A snapshot of Anaudi Hernández’s power
SAN JUAN – During testimony Tuesday, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) fundraiser Anaudi Hernández clearly showed the power he had in Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration to appoint government officials to various agencies who catered to him and his companies, to lay off New Progressive Party (NPP)-affiliated employees and extend a judge’s appointment.
Hernández is the federal prosecution’s 11th witness in a public corruption trial against co-defendants Ivonne Nieves Falcón, former Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa) vice president; Sally López Martínez, former Workforce Development administrator; Glenn Rivera Pizarro, former assistant of Xavier González Calderón, former House administrator; and Marielis Falcón, Ivonne’s sister.
The witness testified he placed many people in García Padilla’s administration.
The federal prosecution, represented by Timothy Henwood, presented in court several emails Hernández received with resumes to place people in government, including the current chairman of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) Governing Board, Harry Rodríguez.
Also, according to a Jan. 4, 2013, email presented in court, Hernández requested assistance from the governor’s brother, Luis Gerardo “Jerry” García Padilla to extend the appointment of Aguadilla municipal Judge Diómedes González Velázquez.
On Jan. 9, 2013, the PDP fundraiser received an email with a list of NPP trust employees in Prasa.
“There were people who worked in Alejandro García Padilla’s campaign who requested positions occupied by people identified with the NPP,” Hernández said about the request made by the governor’s brother to remove the opposition party’s trust employees.
On Jan. 14, 2013, according to another email presented as evidence, an acquaintance of Hernández from Aguadilla asked that Prasa’s director of security and emergency, Mayra Encarnación, be dismissed.
”Since the Sonia [Barreto] thing [to be named director of Prasa’s purchasing division] is almost a done deal, I have another recommendation/request. Prasa has a director of emergency and security position. Right now, Mayra Encarnación has that position. She is an activist and NPP fundraiser. She has both her sisters working at Prasa. She needs to be removed now.
“Ivonne wants to give the opportunity to Ana M. Hidalgo Espaillat. Does her name sound familiar? To get Mayra out, [Prasa Director Alberto] Lázaro needs to get the instructions. You know he gets difficult. There’s a group under Mayra that can be substituted by people who go to our same church,” reads an email sent by Ismael Alfonso Hidalgo on Jan. 14, 2013.
Hernández also testified that the wife of now former House Speaker Jaime Perelló helped him find a position for one of his friends, Jaime Andrés Babilonia.
“That’s an email of mine to Rosa Perelló with Jaime Andrés Babilonia’s resume. He wanted to work at the House of Representatives; she helped him, but in the end he didn’t accept the job because it conflicted with his university studies,” the PDP fundraiser said of the Feb. 3, 2013, correspondence.
Hernández’s testimony resumes today at 9 a.m. in the U.S. District Court’s room 3, presided by Judge Pedro Delgado.