Costa Rica is a step closer to having a new boss at the Ombudsman’s Office after a legislative commission narrowed down a list of candidates to three names.
For three weeks lawmakers interviewed 98 candidates, narrowing down the list to five finalists last week. On Monday night, lawmakers eliminated from the list candidates Cristian Campos Méndez and Ericka Hernández Sandoval.
The commission now will choose from Montserrat Solano Carboni, Ricardo Valverde Gómez and Yanis Quesada Chanto. Solano was the last candidate interviewed earlier on Monday after she arrived over the weekend from the Netherlands, where she currently lives.
Lawmakers will submit a final name in coming days for approval by all 57 legislators.
The agency has accumulated a backlog of almost 400 unresolved complaints since July 7 when former Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum resigned following an announcement by lawmakers and Judicial Investigation Police that they would investigate allegations she had committed tax fraud and identity theft. Assistant Ombudsman Luis Fallas ended his term on April 28, and lawmakers have yet to name a replacement.
The head of the Ombudsman’s Office serves a four-year term.