Friday, December 8, 2023

Jalisco super-delegate resigns; 7 investigations opened into illegal conduct

The federal government’s former super-delegate in Jalisco is at the center of seven investigations by the Secretariat of Public Administration (SFP).

Carlos Lomelí, who resigned on Friday, is being investigated for bribery, conflicts of interest, illegal enrichment and influence peddling.

The businessman and politician was one of 32 people appointed by President López Obrador as super-delegates in each of the states to coordinate and implement federal programs as a corruption-fighting measure.

At the president’s morning press conference on Monday, Public Administration Secretary Irma Eréndira Sandoval said her department has been investigating Lomelí since May 22, two days after the publication of a report by Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) that detailed Lomelí’s links to a network of nine pharmaceutical companies that obtained contracts from state and federal governments.

Four of the investigations are related to business linked to Lomelí, while the three others are related to other allegedly illegal conduct.

“The SFP has not one, but seven investigations open, and we have already found evidence of possible irregular conduct,” said Sandoval. “We were happy to receive Lomelí’s resignation letter, which will allow us to carry out the investigations to their final conclusions.”

As part of the investigations, the SFP collected information from the Finance Secretariat and the Financial Intelligence Unit, as well as from state comptrollers.

According to the MCCI report, Lomelí participated in the creation of a network of nine pharmaceutical companies that received millions of pesos in government contracts since 2012. For part of that time he served as a federal deputy — from 2015 to 2018, and as super-delegate, from December 2018 until last Friday.

One of the companies, Abisalud, received two government contracts in 2019: one for 164 million pesos from the federal government, and one for 36 million pesos from the Morena-led government of Veracruz.

According to SFP documents seen by the newspaper Reforma, the SFP is also investigating links between Lomelí’s network and Ramiro López Elizalde, the medical director of the State Workers’ Social Security Institute (ISSSTE). According to the Reforma report, López is being investigated for conflict of interest, given that he is responsible for administrating part of the ISSSTE budget and that he is a partner of a company that is linked to a Lomelí company.

Sandoval said the SFP investigations could lead to Lomelí being banned from serving in public office for as long as 20 years, and that he could also face criminal penalties.

In May, Lomelí rejected accusations about the pharmaceutical network, claiming they were part of an effort to damage his reputation and the image of the López Obrador administration.

Source: Reforma (sp), SDP Noticias (sp)

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