Thursday, December 7, 2023

Investigation clears electricity commission chief of failing to declare assets

A federal investigation into assets allegedly owned by the head of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) did not find any evidence that he failed to declare any.

Manuel Bartlett was investigated for allegedly failing to declare assets worth around 750 million pesos (US $39.6 million).

Public Administration (SFP) Secretary Irma Eréndira Sandoval told a press conference Thursday that even though Bartlett’s romantic partner, Julia Elena Abdalá, and his children own numerous properties, he was under no obligation to declare them because none of the owners are considered his dependents.

“The evidence collected in the comprehensive investigation does not show that there was a legal obligation to declare the properties because none of their owners maintain a marital, common-law or economically dependent relationship [with Bartlett],” said Sandoval.

She said the relationship between Bartlett and Abdalá is not considered conjugal or common-law because the two are not married and have not lived together for at least two consecutive years, nor do they have children together.

Public Administration Secretary Eréndira announced Thursday that Bartlett was in the clear.
Public Administration Secretary Eréndira announced Thursday that Bartlett was in the clear.

SFP undersecretary Tania de la Paz said the investigation looked into the CFE director’s alleged use of a front man to cover illicit or questionable real estate transactions, but no evidence supporting the claim was found.

Sandoval added that although Adbalá does own a company on the CFE’s list of possible suppliers, there is currently no contract between the companies nor is there evidence that Bartlett had intervened to the benefit of her company, thus discrediting a conflict of interest charge.

She highlighted that the regulations used in the investigations were those currently in force, but new declaration forms approved by the National Ant-Corruption System enter into force in 2020.

Those forms will require all public servants to declare properties registered in the names of their romantic partners, even when there is no legal relationship between them.

The probe into Bartlett’s assets was triggered by a report in the newspaper El Universal that he and his family owned “a real estate empire” of 23 luxury homes.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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