Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano expressed regret this week over a federal court’s exoneration of her predecessor from two of the crimes with which he has been charged.
Judge Guillermo Urbina Tanús ruled that the federal Attorney General’s case against Guillermo Padrés Elías was incomplete and failed to comply with legal formalities.
Padrés was accused of committing money laundering and tax fraud in 2015 amounting to 8.8 million pesos (over US $550,000 at the time). The former governor, arrested in November 2016, remains behind bars awaiting proceedings on another money laundering charge.
He has insisted he is innocent of the charges.
Pavlovich told the newspaper El Universal that “these kinds of situations hurt society, hurt the people of Sonora and hurt those of us trying to do a good job.”
“I am very sorry about what happened, and I’m really very sorry for Sonora and for Mexico,” she said.
When asked about the performance of the Attorney General’s office, Pavlovich said she was “speechless.”
An investigation by the state anti-corruption prosecutor’s office continues. The former governor, who was in office between 2009 and 2015, is suspected of the mismanagement of 32.5 billion pesos (close to US $2.1 billion).
State prosecutors have investigated 21 properties owned by the ex-governor, his relatives and close collaborators in connection with the case.
Some were big investments, such as the Padrés-Dagnino family ranch, which had an equine breeding clinic equipped with air conditioning systems for the horses.
Source: El Universal (sp)