Rossello Is "Senator-Elect" For Arecibo Govt Agencies Ordered To Limit Publicity Santini Promises OSJ Pedestrian Zone PDP Willing To Share CRIM Power With NPP Corrada Del Río Resigns Toledo Asks Comptroller To Investigate Police Finances Olympic Comm Ordered To Deliver Documents Superaqueduct Case Headed Back To Court Pistons Get Arroyo AAV Insists His Status Proposal Will Be OKd
Rivera Schatz Says Rossello Is "Senator-Elect" For Arecibo
January 24, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) Pedro Rossello must be confirmed as the senator for the district of Arecibo because Calvin Tirado never made his aspirations to the seat official, NPP Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz said Monday.
"He (Tirado) did not qualify to participate in this process, and, as things are, it remains that the only candidate is Dr. Pedro Rossello. For all legal purposes, Pedro Rossello is the senator-elect from the NPP for the senatorial district of Arecibo," said Rivera Schatz, who is also the secretary general for the party.
Tirado filed a judicial appeal Monday alleging that the process of a delegate assembly that the NPP is using to select Rossello for the Senate vacancy is unconstitutional. The Senate seat was opened after Victor Loubriel resigned.
Rivera Schatz said Tirado presented "incomplete documents."
"Calvin Tirado was limited to filling out some forms, but he did not present sworn statements, he did not present the profiles, he didnt present certificates of good conduct and other documents that are required not only by the party but by the State Elections Commission," Rivera Schatz said at a press conference.
Santini Promises To Establish Pedestrian Zone In Old San Juan
January 23, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) In response to complaints from residents and merchants in Old San Juan about the deterioration of the historic zone, San Juan mayor, Jorge Santini, promised that he will name within two weeks a committee that will be in charge of establishing the first pedestrian zones.
The complaints state that the constant flow of heavy trucks through the narrow cobblestone streets of Old San Juan is damaging that distinctive feature, which is why it has been requested that those vehicles be barred and that the area be turned into a pedestrian zone.
In addition, the mayor said that he will bring new smaller garbage collection trucks to help preserve the streets. However, he did not say when or the vehicles have been bought already.
Miranda Marín Willing To Share Power With NPP At CRIM
By JOSÉ FERNÁNDEZ COLÓN
January 23, 2005
PONCE (AP) The Popular Democratic Party (PDD) will have the majority in the board of directors of the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM), but it is willing to share power with an New Progressive Party (NPP) mayor during the next four years.
So said the CRIMs new president and Caguas mayor, William Miranda Marín, on Saturday. Miranda Marín also said that, if re-elected, he will propose a shared presidency with the mayor elected by the NPP.
Miranda Maríns proposal would have him presiding the CRIMs board of directors for two years and the municipal executive chosen by the NPP would preside the board for another two. Another option, according to Miranda Marín, would be to establish a co-presidency.
Miranda Marín has to be ratified by the PDDs majority in the CRIMs board of directors.
Miranda Marín said that regardless of how the CRIM is finally constituted, the current executive director, Norman Foy, should remain in his position "because he has earned it with his excellent work."
Miranda Marín said that PDD mayors Hill meet by the end of January to elect the three municipal executives that will represent the party at the CRIM.
The mayor said that he and his counterparts in Mayagüez (José Guillermo Rodríguez) and in Trujillo Alto (Pedro Padilla) hope to be re-elected.
Corrada Del Río Resigns As Supreme Court Justice
January 22, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) Supreme Court Associate Justice Baltasar Corrada del Río, will retire from the islands highest court on April 10, Chief Justice Federico Hernández Denton announced Friday.
Corrada del Río notified Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vila of his resignation in a letter, complying with the Constitution, which requires obligatory retirement for judges over 70, Hernandez said.
"The Judicial Branch, and especially the Supreme Court, thank Judge Corrada del Río for his great contributions to the Puerto Rican judgeship," Hernandez said in a statement.
Corrada del Río was resident commissioner in Washington, D.C. and mayor of San Juan for the New Progressive Party. He was named associate justice in July 1995, by Pedro Rossello.
He will turn 70 on April 10, 2005.
Acevedo Vilá Silent About Corrada Del Ríos Replacement
January 22, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) - Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá declined on Friday to comment on who he will name as a replacement of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Baltasar Corrada del Río, who is retiring on April 10th.
"I will not say anything except that I reaffirm what I have demonstrated with my appointments: That I will recruit the best talents regardless of their political preferences," said Acevedo Vilá at a press conference in La Fortaleza.
Acevedo Vilá expressed his gratitude, "on behalf of all Puerto Ricans" to Corrada del Río for his contributions to public service.
Toledo Asks Comptroller To Investigate Police Finances
January 21, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) The designated Police Superintendent, Pedro Toledo, has asked Commonwealth Comptroller Manuel Diaz Saldaña to investigate the financial situation at the agency, and said he thinks the past administration spent more than 50 percent of the budget for the fiscal year.
Agencies are required by law to reserve half of their budget for the six months remaining in the year after elections are held.
"(It seems) that the budget has passed by 50 percent what is demanded by law I am asking the Comptroller to order an audit of the situation at the police department to have a real picture of the true financial situation," Toledo said after a meeting at the Capitol with NPP Sen. Hector Martinez.
Toledo said that between Friday and Monday he will make his request to the Comptroller formal.
He said, also, that he hired an external auditor to give him a report on the finances of the department and decide if the budget is falsely balanced.
"This is one of the problems - that we are trying to decide if it is so or not," he said.
The process of evaluating Toledo for the superintendent post will begin Monday when he submits to a psychological exam.
Court Orders Olympic Committee To Deliver Documents To Comptroller
January 21, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) Superior Judge Awilda Irizarry awarded a period of 10 days to the directors of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (PROC) to deliver documents to the Comptrollers Office related to an audit of the use of public funds by the group.
The minutes of the hearing, held Jan. 13, but acknowledged today ny the Comptrollers Office, give ten 10 days to PROC President Hector Cardona and his colleague Ismael Delgado, to make a record of a sworn statement that complies with the court order.
"The court decided to give the Olympic Committee 10 days to Mr. Cardona Gonazales and/or Mr. Ismael Delgado to submit a sworn statement that complies with the order of this court," the minutes read, which were put on the Comptrollers Internet page.
If they dont deliver the documents, Cardona and Delgado will have to pay a bail of $15,000 without rights to 10 percent of the payment and have a hearing on March 10.
Comptroller Manual Diaz Saldaña said the documents are related to the property and public funds used for the rent of an office and facilities for the Olympic House.
On May 12, 2004, the court ordered Cardona to deliver the documents, but he has not done so.
Superaqueduct Case Headed Back To Court
January 21, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) The case of the Superaqueduct multi-million dollar extortion scheme allegedly carried out by New Progressives René Vázquez Botet and Marcos Morell will return to the courtroom on Jan. 31 for a conference about the status of the accusations.
According to press reports, there have been several motions filed, by the federal prosecutor as well as by lawyers for both of the accused. The case is up for consideration before Federal District Judge Juan Pérez Giménez.
Vazquez Botet, director of the 1996 campaign of then-Gov. Pedro Rossello, and Marcos Morell, former secretary general of the NPP, were accused in April 2004 of extorting more than $2 million from Superaqueduct contractors for personal gain and for the political party.
Jose Granados Navedo, former vice president of the House of Representatives, was found guilty on March 31, 2004, for his participation in the corruption scheme, that was carried out between 1995 and 2000. Granados Navedo has an plea agreement to cooperate with federal authorities.
Pistons Acquire Arroyo From Jazz
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 21, 2005
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons acquired point guard Carlos Arroyo from Utah on Friday in a trade that sent center Elden Campbell and a first-round pick after 2006 to the Jazz.
The 6-foot-2 Arroyo started 71 games and averaged 12.6 points and 5.0 assists last season for the Jazz, but his role diminished this season despite signing a new contract on July 14. He started 16 of 30 games and averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds.
"We're excited to add him to our team, because we think Carlos adds great flexibility to our backcourt,'' said Joe Dumars, Detroit's president of basketball operations.
Arroyo, who was not drafted, began his career in Toronto and Denver during the 2001-02 season. The Puerto Rico native's career averages are 7.6 points and 3.5 assists.
Acevedo Vila Insists His Status Proposal Will Be Approved
January 21, 2005
SAN JUAN (AP) On a visit to Washington, D.C., where the political future of the island could be decided, Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila insisted he will fulfill his promise to send a measure to the Legislature, so voters can decide if they prefer to resolve the issue of status through a Constitutional Assembly or with a federal initiative.
After attending the inauguration of President George W. Bush, Acevedo Vila said that although the Puerto Rico legislature is dominated by the New Progressive Party, and its platform favors a federal referendum and not a Constitutional Assembly, he is confident members will approve his proposal.
"I am going to fulfill the promise I made to the country. I am going to insist that the Legislature approve it. If they are in favor of a new status process, how are they going to oppose what the people decide is the proposal they want," the governor said, according to press reports.
During the past term, when Acevedo Vila was resident commissioner, the Popular Democratic Party had the legislative majority, but did not approve holding a referendum in that period, so voters could decide if they want an Constitutional Assembly on status.