Court orders prosecutors to reopen the case of 1,205 irregular contracts in the Santa Cruz Mayor's office

The Third Chamber of the Plurinational Constitutional Court yesterday approved the motion of the Mayor of Santa Cruz, Jhonny Fernández, to reopen the investigation into 1,205 allegedly irregular contracts in the municipality of Santa Cruz.

Fernández tabled a request for the protection of the constitution calling on the public prosecutor to investigate this case, which was rejected by the public prosecutor in the first instance.

The complaint was filed in May, but the State Department did not allow it.

With the decision of the Third Chamber of the TCP, the public prosecutor’s office has to reopen the investigation, Fernández told El Deber newspaper.

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“Members explained to us that there were arguments in favor of an investigation into the case and passed an order giving the prosecutor 24 hours to reopen the case,” said the mayor.

On May 28, when he had not been in office for a month, Fernández filed a complaint about 1,205 irregular contracts. In the documents he left with the State Ministry, he referred to contracts without proper signatures or without the necessary endorsements. The defendants were former deputy mayor Angélica Sosa and former municipal officials; Sandra Velarde and Javier Cedeño.

Fernández has now announced that this constitutional protection will expand the lawsuit against other former secretaries of the Santa Cruz mayor’s office who “signed the irregular contracts”.

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Irregular contracts represent a second case of discretionary management of contracts and municipal items. The prosecutor asked investigators to review the information from both cases to verify that these 1,205 contracts were related to the 800 phantom items that were discovered due to the Lawsuit by Valeria Rodríguez Paz to be investigated.

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