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Former Puerto Rican Mayor Found Guilty of Corruption

Guaynabo City Hall, Puerto Rico (Miosotis Jade/CC BY-SA 4.0)

SAN JUAN (AP) — A federal jury has found a former Puerto Rican mayor guilty of bribery, extortion and conspiracy in the U.S territory’s latest government corruption case.

Ángel Pérez Otero, who was mayor of the northern city of Guaynabo and president of Puerto Rico’s Mayors’ Federation, was released on bail after the verdict in U.S. District Court late Wednesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

Otero had been accused of accepting almost monthly payments of $5,000 for nearly two years in exchange for securing a more than $1 million road work contract for a local company.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office submitted pictures and video of Pérez accepting cash payments inside a car and under a restaurant table that were taken by the company’s owner, who was cooperating with federal authorities.

Pérez is the 10th Puerto Rico mayor to be accused of corruption in the past couple of years, and the third in the case involving road work.

His attorney, Eduardo Ferrer, said he would appeal the ruling after Pérez is sentenced.

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