June 18, 2013
Governor sued by mayors
Two mayors from the towns of Caleta Olivia and Río Turbio in Santa Cruz province filed a lawsuit against Governor Daniel Peralta in the provincial court system yesterday, alleging he diverted funds, jeopardizing the payment of municipal salaries.
Río Turbio Mayor Matías Mazú declared in his court statement that Santa Cruz Governor Daniel Peralta had not sent 2.5 million pesos worth of funds corresponding to his district according to the provincial revenue-sharing law.
Mazú is a Kirchnerite politician who has long been known for not getting along politically with Peralta.
Santa Cruz Economy Minister Roberto Ivovich came out in defence of the governor, claiming that the alleged “missing funds” had been discounted from a transfer to Río Turbio because they had accidentally sent double the amount for the payment of Christmas bonuses.
The minister elaborated that “instead of sending the 2.4 million pesos which should have been sent, the province sent 4.9 million pesos.” Mazú admitted that he had previously requested financial aid from the national government to pay the salaries of municipal officials.
The legal case presented before the Caleta Olivia city court by Mayor José Manuel Córdoba, states that the city was owed more than 18 million pesos from agreements and services not honoured by the provincial government.
Córdoba previously filed a lawsuit before the Santa Cruz Supreme Court for 60 million pesos of funds not transferred to pay salaries.
The mayor blamed Ivovich for the “debts incurred from different accords signed with the province,” adding that the reason for presenting another lawsuit was because “we have used up every avenue in trying to dialogue with the provincial government to solve the situation as quickly as possible.”
These recent lawsuits are not the first to have been made by government officials: two other judicial claims had already been presented previously by the Santa Cruz district mayors of El Calafate and the provincial capital of Rio Gallegos, Javier Belloni and Raúl Cantín respectively.
—Herald with DyN