Nicoya, Guanacaste Votes

Carlos Luis Medina, candidate for vice mayor of Nicoya for the Our Town party, was penalized due to a case of conflict of interest

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Translator: Arianna Hernandez

In 2015, the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) sanctioned Carlos Luis Medina Fernández, the current candidate for vice mayor of Nicoya for the Nuestro Pueblo (Our Town) party, with 15 days without pay due to a case that dates back to 2010.

Medina was a municipal council member at the time and the disciplinary measure was imposed due to his participation in an investigative commission despite being aware of the possible existence of a conflict of interest.

Council members Carlos Medina, Ana Lizeth Espinoza Fonseca and Rodolfo Orozco Carrillo formed a commission to investigate a bidding process for a public contract awarded by the local government to the company Gestora, Concesión e Ingeniería GCI S.A., whose legal representative was the lawyer Roger Bravo Álvarez.

The conflict arose from the fact that Bravo, the subject of the investigation, was the legal representative of a group of council members, including Medina Fernández, in a legal process before the Contentious Administrative and Civil Court of the Treasury.

According to the controlling body, the connection between both parties raised suspicions about a possible conflict of interest.

At that time, we appeared at the Comptroller General of the Republic’s Office. We declared what we had to declare, we said what we had to say and we appealed the sanction [of 15 days without pay],” the current candidate affirmed.

According to the CGR, the investigative commission did not fulfill its responsibilities, since instead of determining the need to refer the case to the Public Ministry, it limited itself to carrying out a detailed examination of the lawyer’s professional capabilities.

Article 38 of the Law Against Corruption and Illicit Enrichment in Public Service regulates conflicts of interest in public service, so that officials can’t place themselves in a situation in which their private or personal interests could affect the execution of their duties.

Although the official website of the Comptroller’s Office indicates that the penalty enforced was 15 days, the current candidate stated by telephone that he was only sanctioned with one per diem (the compensation that council members receive for their participation in each council session).