Deputy Enrique Flores in a screenshot from the video. Deputy Enrique Flores in a screenshot from the video.

Auditor quits in midst of corruption scandal

Martínez departs 'for health reasons' during municipal debt scandal in San Luis Potosí

The state auditor of San Luis Potosí resigned Thursday night in the middle of a corruption scandal that implicates his office and members of the state Congress.

Earlier this week, the newspaper El Pulso de San Luis Potosí published a video in which state Deputy Enrique Flores Flores offered to help a mayor “clean up” his municipality’s debt in exchange for a payment representing 10% of the total.

The clean-up would be accomplished by causing the disappearance of observations by the auditor’s office regarding the debt in its audit of the municipality’s accounts. The Deputy was to receive some 4 million pesos (US $220,000) in exchange.

The newspaper reported that the extortion and bribery scheme, which apparently involved more than one indebted municipality, was led by several members of Congress and the state auditor’s office.

After publication of the video, Flores, a National Action Party representative, resigned from leadership positions he held in the Chamber of Deputies to show he had “nothing to hide” and that his hands were clean.

The resignation of auditor José de Jesús Martínez Loredo, who had held the post since 2014, followed.

In a letter delivered to the state Congress Martínez announced that his “definitive and irrevocable resignation” was “strictly due to health reasons.”

“I step down from public office because my cycle is over . . . I never took part in any act of corruption and I trust that the team of people that collaborated with me did not either.”

Green Party Deputy Manuel Barrera Guillén, whose name has also come up in the corruption scandal, declared that the auditor had stepped down as a result of a “mutual agreement . . . for the good of the institution.”

The scandal has also cost Manuel Abraham Reinhardt Guerrero his job as special audits coordinator. He allegedly acted as the liaison between Deputies and the auditor’s office in the illegal settling of municipal debts.

A third Deputy implicated in the corruption scandal, Óscar Bautista Villegas of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is also in charge of the congressional Interior Commission, which has yet to resolve seven requests for impeachment against Martínez.

Source: Milenio (sp), Animal Político (sp)

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