|DR1.com - The mayor of Santiago, Jose Enrique Sued allegedly distributed contracts for RD$26 million among his brothers, cousins, nephews, and husbands of relatives and other favorites. The revelations are part of a book by journalist Esteban Rosario called "Corruption in the Municipal Government of Santiago: An executive summary". The contracts were for infrastructure and services. |
When consulted by Hoy newspaper, Sued said that certainly, he had several relatives working in the municipal government, but he insisted that they really worked and that the jobs were not "window dressing". Nevertheless he refused to refer to the accusations regarding the large contracts for projects and services, and he invited reporter Jose Alfredo Espinal to use the Law of Public Access to Information in order to get the information he was seeking.
According to the yet-to-be-published book, the mayor's sister, Benny Sued, is the director of the Department of Plazas and Parks, and his nephew, former senator Victor Garcia Sued is the administrator of the municipality. Sued admitted that this was correct to the Hoy reporters. According to the reports the mayor's sister is also the owner of Benny's Fiestas and Decorations, S.A., together with her daughter, Sarah. It was said that the business had received fees for more than RD$2 million in 37 different contracts for organizing dinners, meetings and luncheons for foreign and national dignitaries. However, a source informed Hoy that the real figure was closer to RD$7 million from 2007 to date.
Among other interesting details, the book reveals the ties between cousins that supply paving blocks for the remodeling of the parks and nieces who are on the payroll as head of the Department of Protocol.
Some of the relatives are no longer on the payrolls, but interesting facts reveal that another cousin, Dalia Sued was granted the contract to build the Santiago Trolley, and still a further cousin owns the mechanic's shop where the municipality repairs its vehicles.
The head of the mayor's security detail, Ambiorix Jimenez, receives a salary of RD$15,870, minus a RD$4,000 deduction. In spite of this he purchased a 2002 BMW and a 2005 BMW, and he also acquired an apartment in the Jardin Real in Villa Olga where he lives with his family. He also has two sons working in the city government.