A senior legal official in the office of the president has been fired for authorizing a dress code that banned employees in the president’s legal office from having tattoos and piercings, as well as prohibiting them from posting their opinions of the president on social media.
Miguel Ángel Martínez Lara, the fired official who approved the dress code, was the subject of an exposé by the newspaper Reforma last week. He also distributed the code to workers via the messaging application WhatsApp.
After the first Reforma report came out, President López Obrador’s office ordered an investigation and released a statement denying that the office had issued such a dress code. If such a code existed, it was not legitimate or officially approved, the statement said and shared a link to the authorized code of conduct.
The investigation apparently confirmed the code’s existence as Martínez was dismissed on December 1 and no one has replaced him, according to Reforma. The scandal also took down other employees, an inside source told the newspaper.
“They fired [Martínez] because of the news, and other low-profile people like his secretary because of the scandal. They treated them the same,” the source said.
Martínez was part of the team of employees hired by Julio Scherer Ibarra, the previous head of President López Obrador’s legal office. Scherer was at times a controversial figure who was reportedly often in conflict with former Interior Minister Olga Sánchez.
Scherer was also named by several federal legislators as the author of a judicial reform bill addendum voted on in the federal legislature that would have extended the term of Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Saldívar by two years to 2024, a bid which, although opposed by Zaldívar himself, was passed by the legislature earlier this year, though it was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional last month.
Scherer resigned as head of the president’s legal office in August.
With reports from Reforma