Two former Golfito officials have been convicted of engineering a bribery scheme, but they will not spend time in prison. Daylon Arroyo, the former municipal mayor, got a three-year sentence, and Rodolfo Delgado, a former president of the municipal council, got two years.
As usually is the case the politicians who are convicted, the men are being given the benefit of a previous clean police record. The Tribunal Penal de Hacienda where the trial was held awarded the men conditional execution of the sentence. If they are not convicted of other crimes, they will not go to prison. However, they were told they cannot hold public office for five years.
The trial court determined that the pair hatched their scheme after the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo voided the beach concession held by a local couple. The land involved was in Pavones de Golfito and the concession had been awarded by the municipal council.
At first, the court said, the pair of public officials wanted $150,000 to keep the couple from being evicted from the land. Later they dropped their demand to $75,000.
The couple agreed to pay $5,000 in advance, and at a third meeting with the men, that sum changed hands. The couple had told investigators, and the two men were detained as they left the meeting with the couple in 2011. The bills had been marked by a judge.
Another former councilman accepted an abbreviated process in 2014 and was sentenced, the Poder Judicial noted Thursday. Yet a fourth public official, also a councilman, was absolved in the trial, and the prosecutor is expected to appeal.
The former mayor and the former councilman also were ordered to pay 6.5 million colons in civil damages and costs, said the Poder Judicial.