President refers ex-minister to prosecutors in conflict of interest case

Following in his promises to increase transparency and root out political corruption, President Luis Guillermo Solís has put a former head of the transportation ministry in line for a possible investigation into ethical faults.

Tuesday he sent a report to prosecutors  that said former minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, Pedro Luis Castro Fernández, disobeyed the impartiality legally required of a public official.

According to the report, Castro added himself to a vote in favor of awarding a bid to the Compañía Asesora de Construcción e Ingenería. It said that Castro was associated with the construction company as a supervisor from 2003 to 2006. The winning contract bid went for 360 million colons, or some $665,000, the report showed.

The Procuraduría General de la Pública and the Procuraduría de la Ética Pública authored the report after an initial complaint was filed in April of 2013 under Laura Chinchilla’s administration.

“The Procuraduría de la Ética Pública should not only carry out necessary administrative action, aimed at fighting corruption, it should also take every action to increase levels of ethics and transparency in the exercise of public function,” the report read.

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