• Costa Rica Real Estate

Prosecutors raid Costa Rica lawmaker Justo Orozco’s office in ongoing probe

June 30, 2015

Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office and agents from the Judicial Investigation Police at 1:30 p.m. on Monday raided lawmaker Justo Orozco’s office at the Legislative Assembly in San José.

Agents were looking for evidence in an ongoing investigation of Orozco, who is accused of misusing public funds and resources to conduct private business. The raid was ordered by the Penal Branch of the Supreme Court, or Sala III, according to Legislative Assembly Executive Director Antonio Ayales.

An investigation in August by Telenoticias Channel 7 found that the Costa Rican Renovation Party lawmaker was using his public office to provide private legal and notary services when he was supposed to be in legislative sessions. He allegedly used government resources to conduct that private business, Channel 7 reported.

Costa Rica’s Constitution does not forbid current lawmakers from working in a private practice, as long as business is conducted off government property and outside of official work hours.

Channel 7 reported that in the last three years Orozco performed 44 private notary tasks at his Legislative Assembly office, including 31 marriages, six business contracts and two divorces, among others. During Monday’s raid, investigators confiscated the lawmaker’s private practice logbook from the National Registry.

Following the Channel 7 report, Orozco acknowledged conducting private business while serving as a lawmaker, but he said the work was “pro-bono,” and “part of social aid I offered to poor people and as favors to friends.”

But not charging for his services would have violated the country’s Notary Code, which states that notaries are obliged to use the Costa Rica’s Lawyers Association fee table for all services provided.

In August, officials from the National Notary Administration raided Orozco’s private office, located in Hatillo, a suburb south of the capital.

Follow updates of this story at ticotimes.net

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

UN names Costa Rica as ‘Champion of the Earth’ for environmental efforts
Climate Change
65 views
Climate Change
65 views

UN names Costa Rica as ‘Champion of the Earth’ for environmental efforts

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 20, 2019

The United Nations has selected Costa Rica as its 2019 Champions of the Earth award for policy leadership, the organization…

NASA honors Hispanic Heritage Month with Tico astronaut
Space Ticos
57 views
Space Ticos
57 views

NASA honors Hispanic Heritage Month with Tico astronaut

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 20, 2019

Franklin Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican physicist who participated in seven Space Shuttle missions. In honor of Hispanic Heritage…

Government of Guatemala warns that the country has become a cocaine producer
Central America
56 views
Central America
56 views

Government of Guatemala warns that the country has become a cocaine producer

AFP and The Tico Times - September 19, 2019

Guatemala has become a cocaine-producing country and is no longer used just for transit and storage, Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!