Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Puerto Rico Ex-Officials Accused of Steering $15.5 Million in Contracts to Consultants


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Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said he would cut short a family vacation in France to hastily return to Puerto Rico.

“It is time to be present on the island and reiterate the message personally: the agenda of this Government does not stop, despite those who have incorrectly decided to treason the trust of the People,” Mr. Rosselló, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The investigation could renew criticism from President Trump, the most prominent skeptic of sending aid to Puerto Rico, who has repeatedly cast the island’s leaders as incompetent.

Representative Raúl Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee that has oversight of Puerto Rico, called on the governor to resign in the wake of the arrests.

Ms. Rodríguez, the prosecutor, said that the governor was not involved in the investigation. She added that the investigation showed that the authorities were doing their job effectively.

“The message this sends is that the system does work,” Ms. Rodríguez said at a news conference in San Juan. But she lamented that many similar corruption arrests had been made in Puerto Rico over numerous administrations.

“It’s a shame that we see this type of scheme, one after another,” she said.

Just last month, Ms. Ávila had traveled to Capitol Hill to warn that a shortfall in September risked the Medicaid health care coverage for about 1.5 million Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens. She resigned five days later, on June 25, after Mr. Rosselló’s chief of staff revealed that the governor had spoken to a federal grand jury that was investigating Mr. Velázquez, the consultant.

Mr. Velázquez was arrested on Wednesday in Greenwich, Conn. Ms. Keleher, who resigned from her position in April, was arrested in Washington. The other arrests took place in Puerto Rico.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠