Costa Rica Coffee Guide

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

You may be interested

Coronavirus outbreak shuts down Costa Rican Legislative Assembly sessions
Costa Rica
5890 views
Costa Rica
5890 views

Coronavirus outbreak shuts down Costa Rican Legislative Assembly sessions

The Tico Times - October 20, 2020

An outbreak of COVID-19 among Costa Rican lawmakers forced the suspension of Legislative Assembly sessions, according to multiple reports. The…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, October 20
Costa Rica
5883 views
Costa Rica
5883 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, October 20

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 20, 2020

Costa Rica announced 18 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,222, according to official data…

Decree makes it easier for Costa Rican citizens to avoid 14-day quarantine
Costa Rica
2498 views
Costa Rica
2498 views

Decree makes it easier for Costa Rican citizens to avoid 14-day quarantine

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 20, 2020

Costa Rican citizens returning from abroad can now avoid a 14-day quarantine even if they remained out of the country…