Justice sec won’t react to claims that she didn’t pursue corruption investigations
Puerto Rico gov-in-waiting says she won’t react to allegations of unknown origin
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez said Friday that reports of alleged irregularities are intended to prevent her from taking over when Gov. Ricardo Rosselló steps down Aug. 2.
“Again the vicious attacks on my personal and professional integrity continue. The desire and agenda of some to try to undermine my credibility at this moment of transcendental importance for Puerto Rico and to destabilize the governmental order is evident, and only tries to perpetuate instability and restlessness in the country,” Vázquez said in a statement.
On her website, “En Blanco y Negro con Sandra,” Sandra Rodríguez Cotto published text message conversations and “chats” alleging that Vázquez refused to investigate an alleged corruption scheme in the Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board to benefit government administration advisers María Palau Abasolo and José Giovanni Ojeda, who allegedly steered cannabis-related licenses to specific companies. Another claim relates to the secretary purportedly not having investigated an alleged $11 million fraud scheme at the Pharmacies Board.
“Again they offer information that is not in accordance with the truth and have the effect of misinforming. It would be wrong on our part to give information to people, involved or not, about the progress or existence or not of investigations in the Department of Justice,” she insisted.
The secretary of Justice, Vázquez said, has an obligation, under article 13 of Act 205 of 2004, as amended, which is the department’s Organic Law, to keep investigations confidential and not air them publicly.
“Nothing can undermine our desire to continue doing correct and positive things for our people. That has been our trajectory. We will not issue any further public comments on investigations in the Department of Justice or on unsubstantiated allegations and/or publications on social media of alleged electronic conversations, the origin of which are unknown,” the secretary said.