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Governor asks Justice to probe USACE claim of ‘missing’ Puerto Rico grid materials

By on January 11, 2018

SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Thursday that he referred to the local Justice Department the investigation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ alleged discovery of materials at a Palo Seco, Toa Baja warehouse of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), which could be used to restore the island’s electrical grid.

“At a time when it is a priority to restore the power grid in Puerto Rico, I have ordered a legal analysis of this matter so that the people can have the details related to these materials and their storage,” the governor said in a written statement.

USACE sees marked increase in power grid materials arriving in Puerto Rico

To that end, Rosselló requested the Justice Department conduct an investigation to determine whether the origin and administration of the materials violated norms or that crimes against the public interest were committed.

“The USACE issued some statements that have been denied by PREPA, claiming that these materials come from bonds issued for particular lines. PREPA affirms that the USACE and their contractors have had access to them since before the alleged discovery. Therefore, we are referring the matter to the Department of Justice in order to analyze the facts and determine whether there was a commission of crimes or negligent action,” the governor added.

Rosselló instructed Chief of Staff William Villafañe to urgently channel the referral of the investigation.

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