Judge Throws Book at Ex-Puerto Rico Mayor: Over 3 Years in Prison for Bribery Conviction

The former mayor of the municipality of Humacao, Puerto Rico, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison after being convicted for his role in a bribery scheme.

Reinaldo Vargas-Rodriguez, 49, received cash payments for awarding municipal contracts to two companies.

The issue was something President Donald Trump warned about when he feuded with Puerto Rico politicians after a hurricane.

Vargas-Rodriguez, of the New Progressive Party, was the mayor and highest-ranking government official in the municipality of Humacao.

Starting in 2021, Vargas-Rodriguez was involved in a bribery conspiracy in which he received and accepted cash payments from two businessmen in exchange for awarding municipal contracts for waste disposal services, asphalt and paving services, and debris removal, and paying outstanding invoices on the contracts.

From January 2021 through July 2021, Vargas-Rodriguez received at least $27,000 in cash bribes from the two businessmen.

This case is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to combat public corruption by municipal officials in Puerto Rico.

In addition to the above matters, the Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico have recently obtained convictions against other former public officials and contractors in the District of Puerto Rico for soliciting and accepting bribes related to municipal contracts.

According to Fox News:

In March, Ángel Pérez Otero, the former mayor of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and president of Puerto Rico’s Mayors’ Federation, was convicted by a federal grand jury of conspiracy, federal program bribery, and extortion.

In addition to the allegations against Vargas-Rodriguez, the Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico have recently obtained convictions against other former public officials and contractors in the District of Puerto Rico for soliciting and accepting bribes related to municipal contracts, the DOJ said.

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Otero had been accused of accepting almost monthly payments of $5,000 for nearly two years in exchange for securing a more than $1 million road work contract for a local company.

READ MORE: RFK Jr Calls for ‘Real Investigation’ into Biden’s Bribery Allegations

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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