The FBI arrested multiple officials in Puerto Rico Wednesday regarding a potential “payoff” scheme using American hurricane relief aid on the island following a series of natural disasters.
“The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in the administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chairman of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down,” reports the Washington Post.
“The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island,” adds the newspaper. “The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017. The aid was tied up in part because President Trump called island officials ‘incompetent or corrupt.’
CHair @RepRaulGrijalva is calling for Gov. Rossello of Puerto Rico to step down given multiple arrests in a corruption probe. The @washingtonpost story is accurate, despite some confusion. https://t.co/sVAwGRGlvs
— Natural Resources Committee (@NRDems) July 10, 2019
“Keleher and Avila-Marrero exploited their government positions and fraudulently awarded contracts funded with federal monies,” U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Vélez said. “The charged offenses are reprehensible, more so in light of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.