The Comptroller investigates Recope President over Contracts

After three months of research, the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) opened an administrative process against five officials of the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Recope). The officials were linked to the hiring of a consultant of Process Research and Consulting, owned by the ex adviser to the Presidency, Flor Isabel Rodriguez.

This was confirmed by the comptroller general, Marta Acosta, who said that after a preliminary investigation process, auditors of the Department of Investigations and Complaints determined that the conduct of these officials may have violated the rules of administrative contracts. For this reason sent the case to the Legal Division of the entity for an administrative process.

Among the officials involved is the president of Recope, Jorge Villalobos Clare, who confirmed that it was notified of the opening of the trial against him on Monday.

The investigation of the Comptroller started for an investigation by The Nation revealed that in a competition to hire a public relations consultancy, Recope invited three companies that sell building materials and then awarded the contract for ¢ 17 million to the firm of the former presidential adviser.

During a telephone interview, Villalobos said Clare would not talk of the subject. But he said, “My lawyer told me that at the moment, it is best not to make public statements.”

The comptroller, Marta Acosta, said that while the process of defense and legal analysis is under development, the five officials will continue working at their posts.

The head of press of the Comptroller, Mariela Azofeifa said that during these three months, the auditors conducted a preliminary investigation (PI) and observed that there were administrative figures to cancel the original contract and hold another set of regulations, but Recope continued the process of hiring to assign to processes.

The names of those questioned and details about the possible faults that studies the Legal Division of the RGC will not be publicly available until after the administrative process.

The officials, can provide the elements that they consider appropriate for their defense. At the end of the process, it is possible that the case does not create consequences for people involved or be raised to the Attorney General, the Attorney General’s Office or a civil court.

The contract adjudicated by Recope to Processes, generated three parallel investigations, one in the Office of Ethics, another in the Comptroller and third in the prosecution.

The first concluded that the Vice President Luis Liberman, Minister Leonardo Garnier, and other officials violated ethical principles by signing letters of recommendation.

The president, Laura Chinchilla, who corresponded to decide on the consequences of the report by the Inspector did not share the opinion of Advocate of the State and found that officials did not commit ethical lapses.

The third investigation was driven by the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption Transparency, that investigates the possible crime of “influence on the Treasury”

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