Pu Rico’s first female governor, Victoria Vazquez, will plead not guilty to corruption charges

Pu Rico’s first female governor, Victoria Vazquez, will plead not guilty to corruption charges

One of her lawyers, Peter John Porrata, told CNN Vazquez will plead not guilty to the charges.

A political consultant for V zquez and the president of an international bank pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme, according to a statement from the DOJ.

The 62-year-old former governor engaged with various people from December 2019 to June 2020 to finance her gubernatorial campaign, according to the DOJ.

Vazquez and others are charged with conspiracy, federal programs bribery and honest services wire fraud.

The alleged bribery scheme rose to the highest levels of the Puerto Rican government, threatening public trust in the institutions of governance and electoral processes, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Smith said. Polite Jr. made a statement. From 2019 to 2021, V zquez, a former Secretary of Justice, served as the governor of the US territory. She was appointed after former governor Ricardo Rossell was forced to step down after islandwide protests against his government. V zquez's brief tenure as governor was contentious. In January 2020, Puerto Ricans poured onto the streets of San Juan, calling for her resignation after Hurricane Maria supplies were found in a warehouse in the city of Ponce, more than two years after the storm. Later that year, Puerto Rican officials confirmed that V squez was being investigated for mishandling resources meant to mitigate earthquake damage on the island. Pedro Pierluisi, who was elected governor after V squez, said on Thursday: Under my administration there is zero tolerance for corruption. The arrest affects the confidence of the people, as well as affects the confidence of our people, the governor said. "In my administration, we will continue to have a common front with the federal authorities against anyone who commits an improper act," he said. He said wherever it comes from and whoever it may implicate, as well as promoting initiatives and following up on bills that I have presented to combat corruption. In 2019, Rossell handpicked Pierluisi as his successor. His short-lived tenure came to an end after just five days when Puerto Rico's Supreme Court declared his governorship unconstitutional. V zquez was sworn in. In light of the decision made by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, I must step aside and support the Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico, Pierluisi said in a statement at the time. Pierluisi won the seat election in November 2020.