The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico - Carmen Yulín Cruz (D), along with her administration and several suppliers, are under FBI investigation for corruption according to El Vocero de Puerto Rico.
The FBI reportedly launched the probe following a Feb 21 lawsuit filed by the former director of procurement, Yadhira Molina, who alleges that officials punished him for reporting "alleged irregular acts" by the procurement division of Mayor Cruz's administration which occured in 2015 - which may explain supply shortages during Hurricane Maria in 2017 which Mayor Cruz blamed on President Trump, and others have pointed to a union strike.
According to the suit, a supply company incorporated shortly after Cruz became mayor was awarded "preferred supplier" status, which paid them 3x more than "regular suppliers," and that city officials engaged in a corrupt scheme to steer business their way.
The lawsuit states that during the Fiestas of Calle San Sebastián in 2015, Molina began to notice a frequent practice that consisted of his supervisors making requests for purchase orders in the afternoons or quotations for suppliers to deliver them the next day.
It is alleged that given the "pressure" for the artificial time of the orders, the municipality of San Juan paid "preferred suppliers" three times more than the "regular suppliers", since the former could deliver them in a short time.
The document mentions that among the preferred suppliers was Lionel Pereira from BR Solutions Corp., a company that was allegedly incorporated on February 23, 2013, shortly after Cruz Soto became mayor.
According to the legal recourse, the plaintiff was retaliated against and persecuted after reporting the irregularities to the municipal secretary, Magdiel Pérez González, and to the Office of the Comptroller. -El Vocero
In some cases, the "preferred supplier" would receive a list of materials and specifications in advance so that they were ready for the upcoming order.
Presumably, because BR Solutions Corp. had the knowledge that it would be selected, it obtained the materials weeks before the municipality of San Juan issued the requisition of purchases.
One source told El Vocero that high-ranking current and former city employees have been interviewed by federal agents in connection to the probe - and say that the FBI has documentary evidence in the case.
"Nasty Woman" accused of withholding supplies...
Cruz made headlines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria for her public spat with President Trump - who she accused of withholding supplies after initially praising FEMA relief efforts just days before, which prompted him to call her "nasty," an insult he previously bestowed upon Hillary Clinton.
The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
She embraced Trump's insult, donning a black t-shirt that read "NASTY."
Later, speaking in front of a giant stack of US aid pallets, Cruz accused Trump of "killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy."
“We’re dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long. So I am asking the president of the Untied States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives.” -Carmen Yulín Cruz
Except, Cruz may have been the one withholding supplies...
According to a caller to a New York City Hispanic radio station who identified herself as a Puerto Rico police officer from the San Juan suburb of Guaynabo, the Cruz administration was guilty of “staggering negligence and dereliction of duty in the wake of Hurricane Maria”
“What us Puerto Ricans need is the U.S. Armed Forces to come in and distribute the aid. And that they stop the Governor, Rossello, and the Mayor, Yulin, from continuing on doing what they’re doing. It’s an abuse; it looks like communism, in our own island,” the caller said.
“There are dozens and thousands and thousands of food [boxes] and when people ask, we cannot give anything away because Carmen Yulin says that we cannot take anything out, because everything is a soap opera here – everything is a show,” the caller reports. “There have to be cameras here and there because, you know, they are just looking for votes for the upcoming years.”
“Carmen Yulin won’t move unless there is a camera behind her,” the caller continues. “I need to speak for the people because the people are suffering. Because I, as a cop – along with other police partners – we are seeing it.”
Meanwhile, another explanation seems just as likely; according to the Conservative Treehouse, San Juan teamsters didn't show up for work to distribute supplies.
Puerto Rican born and raised, Colonel Michael A. Valle (”Torch”), Commander, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, and Director of the Joint Air Component Coordination Element, 1st Air Force, responsible for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, has the following comment:
"…They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed.
“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government”.. (link)
The ports are so full of relief supplies they can’t fit any more on the available space. CNBC ground report confirms Colonel Valle’s ground report. WATCH:
The reason for truck drivers not showing up? The Puerto Rican Truckers Union, Frente Amplio, is refusing to move the product.
The older man in this video (below) is the boss of a very sketchy (corrupt and violent) Puerto Rico trucker’s union called Fente Amplio. The Union Leader’s name is Victor Rodriguez. The reporter is pleading with Rodriquez to set aside his political grievances with the Puerto Rican governor. Mr. Rodriquez (toothless) angrily shouts NO, and states the truck drivers have a right to be mad and will punish Puerto Rico to prove their union’s strength.
Here’s another report with three independent sources confirming the work stoppage:
WAPA Television confirmed that the strike is related to a recently passed law known as “The Senate Project 525 meant to Administratively Transform the Public Service Commission.” The law covers the recognition of UBER and other transportation methods but Rodriguez refuses to listen to reason or hear related facts.
The law is more commonly known as “The Senate’s 525 Project.” This video should dispel the rumors as to whether or not the supplies are sitting in the port because there isn’t fuel or because the drivers have been instructed NOT to drive.
The Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin decided to keep her mouth shut about the strike and insult President Trump instead. It was a foolish and unfortunate choice considering Puerto Rico is out in the middle of the ocean. President Trump doubled down his efforts and was preparing for the tragedy “even before” the hurricanes hit Puerto Rico. -SNN.bz
Did mayor of San Juan mention union workers at port are on STRIKE & demanding money first before distributing supplies off boat? #amjoy— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) September 30, 2017
It seems the Mayor of San Juan isn't the only one who's nasty...