• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Naming a new ombudsman could take weeks, Costa Rica Assembly president says

July 8, 2014

Legislative Assembly President Henry Mora on Monday evening asked the legislative appointments commission to immediately start the process of selecting candidates for ombudsman following the resignation Monday of Ofelia Taitelbaum.

Mora said he hopes lawmakers would agree on a name quickly and that former candidates in the past two elections should be reconsidered.

The appointment could take two weeks, he said, but that will depend on whether lawmakers can reach consensus on a candidate.

“We want someone who has no party affiliation, yet has a top-notch professional profile,” Mora said.

Lawmakers also must appoint a new assistant ombudsman as the post has been vacant since April 27, when Luis Gerardo Fallas’ term expired.

On Monday, legislators dismissed the option of re-electing Fallas and discarded the candidacies of former Libertarian Movement Party lawmaker Carlos Góngora and vice presidential candidate Abril Gordienko. Both names were proposed by Taitelbaum.

Before selecting a new ombudsman, lawmakers must decide if they will summon Taitelbaum to testify before a full Assembly or a legislative commission. The legislative inquiry could result in a delay in the appointment of a new ombudsman, and it could affect pending cases in the Ombudsman’s Office.

President Luis Guillermo Solís said he hopes Taitelbaum’s resignation “does not harm the public image of the Ombudsman’s Office.” He asked lawmakers to appoint someone “who is not tainted by special interests.”

Taitelbaum, re-elected in April to continue in office for four more years, left her post Monday amid a scandal over allegations that companies she is linked to were involved in identity theft and tax fraud.

Judicial Investigation Police and the Finance Ministry currently are investigating the case, based on a complaint by a seamstress who says corporations linked to Taitelbaum used her name in forged documents to issue payments for professional consulting services, which were used to file tax returns at the Tax Administration.

The woman, María de los Ángeles Otárola Soto, has said it is impossible for her to provide those services because she never graduated from elementary school.

You may be interested

Costa Rica begins evaluating flooding damage
Costa Rica
311 views
Costa Rica
311 views

Costa Rica begins evaluating flooding damage

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 29, 2021

The Costa Rican government on Wednesday began a comprehensive evaluation of damage caused by the flooding that occurred last weekend.…

Nicaragua parliament shutters 24 NGOs
Latin America
161 views
Latin America
161 views

Nicaragua parliament shutters 24 NGOs

AFP - July 29, 2021

Nicaragua's parliament on Wednesday shuttered 24 non-governmental organizations, operating mainly in the medical field, in a move they said amounted…

Costa Rica expands vaccine access to ages 20 and older
Costa Rica
102 views
Costa Rica
102 views

Costa Rica expands vaccine access to ages 20 and older

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 28, 2021

Costa Rica has expanded Covid-19 vaccine access to all citizens and residents ages 20 and older, the Social Security System…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports