The Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor’s Office (OBV) reported Friday that due to health reasons for the prosecutors in charge of the case, the filing of complaints against the former Treasury secretary has been suspended. Raul Maldonado Gaultier Thus, listening to the reason for the arrest, known as Rule 6.
Opfei prosecutors, Manuel Núñez Corrada and Juan Catalá Suárez, had to go to the investigative room at the San Juan Judicial Center to file charges against the former official, who between 2017 and 2019 was one of the most influential men. In the government of Puerto Rico through its occupation in that short period under the administration of Ricardo Rossello many of the most important government positions, including the Secretary of the Treasury.
Núñez Corrada returned from vacation last week and is currently suffering from COVID-19. In view of this, only Prosecutor General Catala Suarez will attend it today. However, since 3:00 this morning, he has been in the emergency room of a hospital treating a delicate health situation.”
In his first public expression since it became known that he would be charged with crimes still unknown, Maldonado said as he left court that the whole process belonged to former Governor Rosselló, although he did not elaborate on the complaint.
“This (criminal complaints) is a commission from the corruption lobby Ricardo Rossello,” Maldonado said as he left court, referring to his former boss, who resigned amid mass protests in the summer of 2019, after it was announced. A conversation in the Telegram app with their closest collaborators.
in a conversation, whose leak was later attributed to Maldonado, exposed an administration obsessed with influencing opinion polls in the media and social networks to obtain positive results for its image, as well as the institutional operation of a network of “trolls” that sought to discredit the press, journalists, opposition politicians and those who think differently from their interests. The chat was also filled with insults, flashbacks, sexism, misogyny, and homophobic expressions, among other things, and included mocking the dead due to Hurricane Maria.
interrogated by new day On the reasons for the suspension, the team leader for the Special Independent Prosecutor (PFEI) said, Nydia Cotto Vives, Repeat the health conditions explained by Opfei in her statement and pointed out That when the prosecutors are returned, they will arrange a new appointment with the court and with the attorney.
“Another prosecutor appointed management in court (to report no complaints) and the lawyer was notified Mayra Lopez Moliero, early this morning also, so as not to reach the court, so that it would be his choice whether or not to arrive,” said the committee chair.
However, despite knowing that the hearing would not take place, Lopez Molero went to court with his client, who was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth Neves and son Raul “Rawley” Maldonado Neves.
The lawyer said they went there to comply with the court and procedures, even though judicial procedures begin when complaints are filed. Lopez Moleiro, Maldonado Gauthier, and even the former official’s wife took advantage of their appearances in court to reject the ex-treasury secretary’s violation of laws or moral judgments.
Maldonado’s lawyer Gauthier called the decision to suspend the hearing “barbaric”, rather than being brought by another independent special prosecutor unrelated to the case, given that Opfei usually presents her cases based on the file, which includes affidavits. No witnesses are seated.
“Here I represent the order of the court. Here there is a case, allegedly, concerning the health of the prosecutors. But the point is not that, the point is how many prosecutors are there in Opfei, what is the obstacle to starting that now,” he said in response to questions from Press “This is outrageous, a mockery.”
On arrival in court, Lopez Molero denounced that although he had been in contact with special prosecutors, he had not yet been informed of the allegations against his client.
“This is not a violent crime,” the lawyer said. “This is an issue that has been framed in the Government Ethics Act. There should be no secrets here,” he added.
Maldonado Gauthier did not complete the four-year administrative term during which he served as Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OGP), Chief Financial Officer of Government (CFO) and Minister of the Interior.
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and attorney were dismissed on June 24, 2019 by then-Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares a few hours after he said on a radio program that there had been an “institutional mafia for many years” at the Treasury. That he had access to privileged information about taxpayers that he used to extort money and that among those involved in these activities, there were “high-ranking administration officials”.
Rossello Nevares attributed the dismissal to the fact that Maldonado Gauthier did not inform him of the government corruption he claimed to be at the agency, nor did he mention that he suspected officials from his administration were part of it. It was the alleged misinformation that the president had been exposed to that made him lose faith in the secretary.
This dispute was the first of several that occurred later between the administration of Rossello Nevares and the Maldonado family. Raul Maldonado Neves, the son of the ousted Treasury Secretary, immediately made expressions on social networks to defend his father’s integrity. Later he participated in some media, taking the opportunity to contact the government department from which he left his father corrupt.
A few weeks after Maldonado Gauthier’s dismissal from the government, the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) published 889 pages of a Telegram conversation that showed communications between the then-governor and several of his closest aides in which they were mistakenly used. , biased and vulgar language against people and about everyday situations, government and politics.
Although none of them ever admitted it, since the summer of 2019 it has been rumored that the Maldonado family was involved in spreading those messages that caused all the officials active in that chat to leave their government positions, which is to terminate the contracts of others and then Governor Rossello Nevares resigns.
In November 2020, the Office of the Independent Prosecutor (Opfei) closed an investigation into the chat’s content. The two assigned plaintiffs concluded that there was no criminal conduct in chat use or disclosures they made in those communications.
On the other hand, Obvi announced this Wednesday that it would file complaints against Maldonado Gauthier, but did not specify the number of crimes or what the crimes were.
Mayra Lopez Molero, Maldonado Gautier’s lawyer, said the investigations and indictments are part of a pattern of persecution and retaliation against her client because they revealed the existence of an “institutional mafia” in the Treasury that included many high-ranking officials. Officials. Level in government administration.
With regard to the investigation that led to the filing of the lawsuit today, it was found that in April 2021, Obvi commissioned an in-depth investigation of prosecutors Juan e Catala Suárez and Manuel y Núñez Corada about the possibility of deviation from the law in awarding a contract at the Treasury to Risco Insurance, whose officers Javier and Valerie Jiménez Gallarza, sons of the Mayor of San Sebastian, Javier Jiménez Perez.
Then, in June 2021, the Confederation of Federal Industries expanded the investigation to include matters related to the forensic review of financial reports that Maldonado Gautier had submitted to the Office of Government Ethics (OEG).
From a review conducted and published by El Nuevo Día in January 2020 of the summaries of the former Treasury Secretary’s financial reports available on the OEG page, it appears that Maldonado Gauthier had $2.3 million in capital in 2016 because he had assets for that number and did not report any debt.
The following year, when he was already exercising his public functions, he took out a $597,098 mortgage debt and said he took a $25,198 write-down on his investment and a $120,000 drop in the value of his real estate, reducing his capital that year to 1.6 million dollars.
The financial summary published by the OEG does not show how Maldonado Gautier used the product of the nearly $600,000 he reversed as mortgage debt in 2017. While reporting job cuts, in 2019, he reported holding $1.7 million in equity capital.
When Rossello Nevares announced as governor-elect on December 15, 2016 the appointment of Maldonado Gautier as Treasury Secretary, he highlighted the nearly thirty-five years of professional experience he had accumulated at that time in both the private and public sectors. sectors.
During the administration of Pedro Rossello, Maldonado Gautier held the position of Assistant Secretary of Internal Revenue in the Treasury, where he was responsible for coordinating the drafting of the Internal Revenue Code of 1994. In addition, he worked on developing tax reforms.
He was also a legislative advisor to the House of Representatives during the administration of José Aponte. When Rossello Nevares launched himself as a political candidate, Maldonado Gautier collaborated with him in formulating the government’s program, the so-called Puerto Rican Plan.
Born in Catania, Maldonado Gauthier earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico, at this public university he also completed his Doctor of Laws degree. He worked as an accountant for nearly 40 years, mostly in the private sector. He worked at Ernst & Young, Pricewaterhouse and then registered his own company, Maldonado & Asociados, to provide technical advice on contributions.