Correction to 1st paragraph
Santo Domingo.- President elect Danilo Medina’s pick to head his transition commission is Gustavo Montalvo, who resigned early October 2007 as Ethics Commission Technical Coordinator amid scandal in the Office of the Presidency for Information and Communication Technology (Optic) involving a US$13.0 million contract, could signal a tough stance against government corruption.
Montalvo’s resurgence after nearly five years since the scandal, together with his prominence as a key figure and potential member of Medina’s cabinet fuels speculation of a sweep of current senior officials, and the appointment of “fresh faces” to counter the allegations of widespread government corruption, blamed for the ruling PLD party’s poor showing in the presidential May 20 elections.
The president elect’s representatives will meet in the National Palace with their government pars Monday afternoon for the first time, when according to Presidency Chief of staff Cesar Pina, they’ll elaborate protocol to guide the transition process.
In addition to Montalvo, in Medina’s handover of power commission figure Ruben Bichara, Carlos Amarante, Cesar Prieto and San Cristobal senator Tommy Galan.
From October 3, 2007
Senior official resigns amid another Dominican government scandal
SANTO DOMINGO.- The coordinator of the National Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission said today that senior official Pedro Duran Bello was asked to resign after it was learned he had forged his signature in a request for a Spanish visa.
Jose Joaquin Bidó Medina’s revelation in a National Palace press conference today comes three years after the scandal on the aborted US$13 million bidding of the Office of the Presidency for Information and Communication Technology (Optic), which prompted the resignation of the Commission’s then Technical Unit chief, Gustavo Montalvo.
He said that although Durán, who was the commission’s Technical Unit executive director, was authorized to travel to Vienna to represent the organization, the visa request had a signature that was “not authentic.” He said Durán tried to cover the facts by submitting a letter of resignation yesterday, dated August 10 even though he had represented the commission in Vienna from August 27 to 31.
Bidó said the forgery was uncovered when Durán requested a reimbursement of the RD$2,280 he paid to obtain the visa.
Bidó said Durán, who had replaced Montalvo, worked in the National Palace as a consultant recommended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The anti-corruption commission includes Executive Branch legal adviser Cesar Pina Toribio, National Anti-Corruption Department director Octavio Lister and Dominican Episcopal Conference general secretary monsignor Benito Angeles.
Montalvo has yet to explain his resignation.