The Michoacán state Congress has ruled that a former mayor will not be able to hold public office for two years after he was accused of nepotism and embezzlement.
Juan Carlos Campos Ponce was the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) mayor of Zitácuaro between 2012 and 2015, during which time his wife served as director of the DIF family services agency DIF earning a monthly salary in a position that is supposed to be honorary.
Campos also hired his brother-in-law as public services director and employed several other relatives.
The state Congress also heard accusations of illicit enrichment, corruption and irregularities in municipal workers’ salary deductions. Another was that Campos had accepted bribes in exchange for streamlining public funding for a cultural program.
Campos defended himself by claiming that accepting bribes “is a very common practice” even at the federal level. In the end, he said, he refused the “rotten money.”
Likewise, he dismissed the accusations of nepotism, although he did feel “a little bit guilty. Still, I don’t consider it so serious, because if we look around we find nepotism everywhere.”
Campos believes the restriction against holding public office for the next two years is the result of a “political attack” against him, one that is “plagued with irregularities.”
Congress members had given the former mayor 60 days to present evidence in his defense but he didn’t respond.
Now Congress is preparing to issue a ruling in the case of the mayor of Jacona, Rubén Cabrera Ramírez.
The Citizen’s Movement party (MC) politician is accused of hiring 10 of his relatives, along with embezzlement, abuse of power and influence peddling.
The file compiled against Cabrera includes an instance in which his administration authorized land-use changes that benefited property he owned, along with an allocation of 3 million pesos to develop the land.
If Congress decides against him he will be the third mayor it has disqualified from holding public office.
First on the list was Francisco Omar Corsa Gallegos, mayor of Vista Hermosa, who won’t be able to hold public office for five years after he embezzled 5 million pesos originally allocated to build housing projects.
Congress ruled against him a year ago.
Source: El Universal (sp)