Mayor Gallardo: accused of corruption. Mayor Gallardo: accused of corruption.

Anti-corruption group denounces SLP mayor

Citizens' group says San Luis Potosí mayor has 66 properties in his name

An anti-corruption group in San Luis Potosí has denounced Mayor Ricardo Gallardo Juárez for illicit and unexplained enrichment.

The spokesman for the Citizens’ Anti-Corruption Front, Hugo Stevens Amaro, said that one sign of the mayor’s alleged enrichment was the 66 pieces of real estate, covering more than 3 million square meters, in Gallardo’s name.

Stevens said there could be more properties registered in the name of Gallardo’s frontmen elsewhere in Mexico and abroad.

Given distrust in state government agencies, Stevens said, the same formal complaint against Gallardo, which includes his son, Ricardo Gallardo Cardona, would be filed before five different federal departments and agencies where he expected there was a better chance of obtaining justice.

Unlike the state auditor’s office, which found nothing amiss in the Gallardo administration’s 2016 finances, the Federal Auditors’ Office had questions about nearly 441 million pesos (almost US $24 million) corresponding to the same year.

The irregular handling of public monies, Stevens said, included deducting taxes from state employees’ paychecks but failing to report the deduction to the federal Finance Secretariat, which in 2016 amounted to close to 102 million pesos.

Gallardo was also the mayor of the municipality of Soledad de Graciano Sánchez between 2009 and 2012, and was succeeded in that post by his son.

The latter had his sights set on the governor’s office three years ago but his bid was swiftly ended when he was arrested in January 2015 on corruption charges. He was released a few months later.

Both father and son are said to control the Democratic Revolution Party in the state.

A corruption scandal involving the state auditor and Congress came to light last year when a video revealed a congressman offering to fix things with the auditor to ignore a municipality’s debt.

Source: Pulso SLP (sp)

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