Corruption Case Against Brasília’s Governor Reaches More People

José Roberto Arruda The government of the Federal District (GDF), following an order by a federal appellate court (Superior Tribunal de Justiça – STF),  is to hand over documents on its contracts with companies that provided informatics and computer services.

The order was for documents and spreadsheets for the period from 2007 to 2009. But as part of an ongoing political struggle the present GDF, led by governor José Roberto Arruda, says it will provide the court with documents and spreadsheets from 1999 to 2009.

Including this longer period means they will also have the numbers for the administration of Joaquim Roriz who governed until 2006 when he resigned to run for the Senate and was substituted by his vice governor, Maria de Lourdes Abadia.

Arruda began his political career as an aide to Roriz; but that was long ago and today they are enemies.

The STJ is investigating irregular financial transactions revealed in an investigation by the Federal Police called Operation Pandora’s Box which found strong evidence of illegal payments by the GDF to its allies in the legislature.

According to the Federal Police, the money came from contractors who provided informatics and computer services for the GDF. Arruda has been accused of receiving a total of 3 million reais (US$ 1,719) in bribes from those contractors.

Meanwhile, there are reports in the press about how relatives of the governor have acquired real estate in Brasília but registered the purchases at amounts far below their market value.

Arruda met behind closed doors with most of his cabinet to discuss an action plan for 2010. Spokesmen for the governor said that the alleged real estate deals by the governor’s relatives were not mentioned.




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