Investigation into UPR Property Inheritance Process Urged
SAN JUAN – Former House Speaker José Aponte has requested approval of House Resolution 198, which directs the Education Committee for the Promotion of Arts and Culture to conduct an investigation into the management of property obtained through inheritance by the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).
“We only have to imagine the billions of dollars in assets that the university has acquired in recent decades due to an obscure legal clause dating back to May 1939. The people have a right to know how many assets were inherited by the university” and what was done with them, the measure says.
The Civil Code of 1930 includes a provision stating that when a person dies without a will in Puerto Rico and has no heirs, his or her property is inherited by the state, which by law must transfer these assets to the UPR.
“In recent weeks, we have begun to receive information pointing to irregularities in the management of these resources. According to the information, these are allegedly auctioned and acquired by personnel working at the university, which is against the law,” Aponte said.
The measure, filed on Jan. 28, 2013, has not yet been assigned to the committee to begin the legislature’s investigative process.
“In addition to the investigation, it is important to provide people with a sense of clarity about the administration of these assets. That is why we have also proposed the creation of a detailed record of the property and assets inherited by the UPR that would be accessible on the institution’s website to all citizens,” the pro-statehood leader said.